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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Charleston Defeats Scrappy Lavaca Lady Arrows 3-0

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As the team was preparing to leave West Fork last week following a third victory of the week, I asked Charleston coach Ryan Rachuy about the non-conference game at Lavaca coming up on Monday. Coach Rachuy described Lavaca as “scrappy” and said that they had to prepare for a fight, because that’s what Lavaca would bring. Rachuy’s words proved to be prophetic as the Lady Tigers swept the Lady Golden Arrows at Lavaca on Monday night, but had their hands full with the scrappy Lady Golden Arrows. Charleston (8-1, 4-1) will return home on Thursday to resume its conference schedule with Mansfield.

Coach Rachuy was pleased with his team’s performance and had tremendous respect for the Lavaca effort. “Those girls (the Lavaca team) are good volleyball players. Great atmosphere here. Great people. It’s a good rivalry. There have been times when Charleston /Lavaca, Charleston / Paris, Charleston / Mansfield, it gets chippy. But what I’ve found in volleyball is that there is a lot of respect for the girls on the teams, as long as the teams show that respect back, and we do. I am really proud of our girls of how they handled things. I think they handle things really well. They showed some character that goes back to their parents. I’ve got good parents; very proud of the parents that I have. I’m really blessed to be able to coach at Charleston. Especially when you are able to come into an area like this and play tough volleyball. They (Lavaca) have some injuries and I know they have some players who were not able to play tonight. I know their libero has some wrist issues; they’re hurting all over. But they played their rears ends off.”

Charleston now returns home for a Thursday night match with the Mansfield Lady Tigers. Mansfield, a program with multiple state championships in volleyball as part of their team’s history, promises to bring another highly-competitive match to Charleston. Mansfield is coached by perhaps its most prolific player in its program’s history, Kaylie Pyles. Pyles was the MVP of the 2013 Mansfield state championship tournament team. “We play a Mansfield team, they’ve got a couple of losses under them, but I tell you, after I have gotten to see a little bit of the last scores of their matches, they’re coming on. Coach Kaylie Pyles, we have a lot of respect for her. She’s a former player over there, won state titles over there. She knows what to demand from those girls, and I’ve got a lot of respect for that program. We’re going to have to get ourselves ready. We’re going to have to come out like we did tonight and really get after it and make sure we are doing what we have to do.”

Although Monday night’s victory at Lavaca was a non-conference match, it was a tough road victory over a very good volleyball team. The Charleston victory, in a tough atmosphere, could pay off down the line for the Lady Tigers. And they will need it. For now, it is the resumption of a tough remaining conference schedule for the Lady Tigers that begins Thursday night.

You won’t want to miss Thursday’s game. The gym will be full of Tigers from both schools.

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Jim Best
Jim Best is a man of many talents. His storied career in Arkansas education led him to a new passion, and hidden gifts in sports journalism.
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