LAUREL HILL – A rebuilding Laurel Hill volleyball program has been taking steps forward in recent weeks under first-year head coach Ashley Miller.
Last week the Hoboes played defending Class 1A runner-up Baker tough in straight-set loss. Two days later they came back and lost a hard-fought five set match to Rocky Bayou Christian.
And while some people might have seen the mounting loses, Miller saw a team that was playing better and gaining confidence. Monday, Miller’s confidence was bolstered even more as the Hoboes made short work over an outmanned Samson, Ala., squad winning the match in straight sets by scores of 25-9, 25-13, 25-14.
To say that Laurel Hill dominated the match might be an understatement as Samson’s only lead came at 1-0 in the first set. The Hoboes (3-7) then reeled off seven straight points and never trailed in the set or the match although the Tigers did tie the Hoboes early in the third set at 2-2.
Miller was happy with the win, but she pointed to the loss against the Knights as being more important to the Hobo program.
“This win wasn’t as important as the loss to Rocky,” she said. “They ran a set offense and this team (Samson) right here doesn’t do it much.
“We went five with Rocky the other night and lost the last one 13-15, but we missed five serves in that game so we should have won. What I will say about Thursday night is we went to Rocky and played real volleyball. They played with fire and they played with heart and it was like the teams (at Baker) I’ve been on in my life. And now that they’ve seen that happen you can see what happened tonight.”
What happened Monday was a well-played match as the Hoboes had a chance to work on the little things such as running a set offense, serving and passing that can make or break a team in the district tournament.
Most of Samson’s points came off Hobo mistakes, but Laurel Hill did a lot more good things than bad things against the Tigers.
Breanna Trunk was in serve as Laurel Hill ran off seven straight points in the first set to take a 7-1 lead and control of the match.
Nichole Bailey put an explanation point on the Hobo run with a kill. Samson never got close than three points the remainder of the set.
Leading 12-8, the Hoboes went on a 13-1 run to close out the match with nine of the points coming off serves by Lauren Gordon.
The Hobo dominance continued throughout the match.
When the final statistics were tallied it was clearly a team-win for the Hoboes.
Bailey led Laurel Hill with four kills. Kaylee L’Homme and Jhanae Griffith each had two kills while Gordon and Bridget Zessin had one kill each. Griffith also had three blocks.
Trunk topped Laurel Hill with five aces. Zessin and Ashley Hatfield each had two aces and Gordon one ace.
Sophomore Haley Meeks was happy with the way the Hoboes played in picking up the win.
“I thought we did really good,” she said. “We talked together better than normal and it was pretty much an overall good game.”