|Lonoke's Jarrelyn McCall  blocks the hit by Clinton's Randi McDonald during |
the Lady Jackrabbits' conference victory on Thursday at the Gina Cox Center.
Backing up on the play for Lonoke is Janae Miller. (Photos by Mark Buffalo)
By Mark Buffalo
LONOKE — It took a little bit of extra work but the Lonoke Lady Jackrabbits volleyball team is still undefeated in league play.
Lonoke beat Clinton in four games to improve to 10-0 in the 4A-Central on Thursday night at the Gina Cox Center. The scores were 25-21, 25-12, 18-25, 25-22. The Lady Jackrabbits have six conference matches remaining.
Lonoke coach Laura Park said the reason for the 10-0 start has been the "heart" her players have shown this year.
"These girls love what they are doing, they work very hard at it; it is a passion for them," Park said. "It shows through. There have been times we've been down 6, 8, 10 or 12 points and should lose and we wind up coming back and winning.
"It's their determination and their heart. They give everything they've got."
Park said one thing she is emphasizing this year is to not let down at any point, especially after winning the first game or first two games of a match, similar to what they did against Clinton on Thursday.
"If you've won the first two, you've got to work even harder, and play harder and smarter," Park said. "No one is going to lay down and let you have the win."
During the win over Clinton, Lonoke missed five consecutive serves in the third game when the Lady Jackrabbits lost 25-18.
"We don't do that normally," Park said.
Despite the hiccup in the third game, Lonoke played strong in the fourth game. Behind the serve of Paola Negrete, the Lady Jackrabbits rallied from an early deficit to lead 11-9.
Lonoke eventually got it to game point on the serve of Jarrelyn McCall, who gave Lonoke a 24-20 lead after rate score was tied at 20-20.
Clinton forced a sideout to get the serve back but a rally at 24-22 went wide, giving the Lady Jackrabbits the victory.
Park rotated seven players in the victory. They included Negrete, McCall, Emily Moore, Janae Miller, Kira Gibbs, Eboni Willis and Charley Jo Chesney.
With six games remaining in conference play, Park knows Lonoke is the team to beat.
"I try to emphasize to them that we may be 10-0 but we have a target on our back," she said. "I've got several girls who like to go deer hunting. 'You're the biggest deer in the field … and everyone is wanting to come after you. You've got to do what you can to keep them from getting you."
Lonoke travels to Central Arkansas Christian on Tuesday. The Lady Jackrabbits host West Helena next Thursday, Oct. 2.
|Lonoke coach Laura Park talks to her team during its win over Clinton.|