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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Charleston Defeats West Fork 3-0 to Earn Fourth Conference Victory

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On a night when the Charleston faithful were singing in the West Fork gymnasium to Neil Diamond’s classic hit, “Sweet Caroline”, times were truly so good for the Lady Tigers. Charleston defeated West Fork 3-0 for another conference victory on Thursday night. Charleston (7-1, 4-1) finished the week with three conference wins and not having lost a single set.

As Charleston completed the week, the Lady Tigers proved that they can maintain their focus on each opponent, no matter how many games are played or if they play at home or on the road. Coach Ryan Rachuy praised his Lady Tigers for their play against West Fork. “It is truly good to win on the road. This is a tough place to play. It really is. You know, there is no difference in the court size. No difference in the net size. I don’t think the ceiling is too low here. There are some places that may think it is too low. But, the walls are close. And so it gives you that mentality that you’re in a much tighter space to play volleyball. When the girls keep their minds between the lines it shows. I think we showed that. We showed a little bit of putting too many balls out of bounds. Didn’t really get many service runs in the first set. But, we turned that around.”

Senior Kylie Frederick was one of many players who had a good night for Charleston. “She had some good serves. She won our serve award last year. She’s usually a high-percentage server so she is going to put the ball in bounds. She’s a really good place server. She tries to find that spot or maybe that player that is struggling a little bit which puts a little more pressure on them. I also think that she is consistent with her swing. We are hoping to continue with that. I think we had a couple other girls that had good service runs tonight.”

So for the Lady Tigers, it will be a brief rest over the weekend and back on the road next Monday night at Lavaca. The junior Lady Tigers will compete in the Junior Lady Eagles tournament this Saturday in Paris. “We got a chance to see Lavaca play this summer in camps and we know that they are tough. They don’t have a huge number of girls right now but the girls they have are solid. They are scrappy; they will go after everything. They will try to swing at everything they can. So we are going to have to get ourselves ready to go and expect a tough fight at Lavaca because they are going to give us one.”

As this week of the season draws to a close, a quick look at the schedule shows that the conference schedule is moving along quickly. For Charleston, the next three weeks are critical as they near the completion of the first round of conference games and begin the second games in the conference round robin schedule. “We are going to have to buckle down and get stuff going. It’s a lot of volleyball in a short period of time. We will give the girls the weekend off. Since it is a Monday night game, we will bring the girls in Sunday night to try to clean some stuff up.”

For Charleston, it was mission accomplished this week. With three conference victories, the Lady Tigers have firm control of second place in the conference heading into the next week of games. And as the Charleston fans sang tonight, times have never been so good.

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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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