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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Charleston Volleyball Improves Record to 2-0 With Road Win at Ozark

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Just one night after the Lady Tigers opened the 2019 season with a win on the road at Clarksville, Charleston returned to the road last night to play at Ozark. The Lady Tigers continued their winning ways by defeating Ozark in three sets. The win improves Charleston’s record to 2-0 on the young season.

The Lady Tigers played their first match in a hostile environment that will be the first of many as they enter the conference schedule. On a night where every team in the Charleston program won, it did not come easy due to the outstanding effort of the Lady Hillibillies. Ozark’s program is in just its second year, but like Charleston, progress can be seen from the most casual observer. Four matches were played, and all Lady Tigers teams won in consecutive sets: the junior high ” A & B” teams, the senior high junior varsity, and the varsity all won without dropping a set.

Charleston coach Ryan Rachuy was impressed with his team’s poise to pull out the win in a hostile environment. “They (Ozark) have a great environment here, and that’s good. We have got to be able to play in this type of environment, and we have got to be able to play well. I think these girls can do it. It’s just a matter of taking our time.” When asked about everyone bringing their best effort against Charleston each week, Rachuy said “With Ozark it is always going to be that way. They are a young team. Their skill level has improved so much. Their individual skill level has improved so much. They have little things about their game that they have to improve on, but they are going in the right direction.”

The Lady Tigers played two back-to-back road games this week with the second night being in a hostile environment. The Lady Tigers showed their grit Tuesday night in pulling out the win. “We have to make sure we keep those blinders on and keep focused on what we have to do and we can accomplish our goal. I’m very proud of my girls. We came in here and every team we played we got a win in every set. Now, we have to look at film, our stats, and see where we’re at. We’re basically three days away from conference play. We have to be ready to go.”

Charleston returns home on Thursday, August 29 to host the Huntsville Lady Eagles. Although Coach Rachuy admits that it will be good to play in front of a friendly crowd in its home opener, he also admitted that the Lady Tigers have some unfinished business with Huntsville. “We owe Huntsville a little bit. We did go up to their place last year and they knocked us off. We’ve got to go out their and do our jobs.”

The opening week of the Charleston season has seen the Lady Tigers cruise to victories in different ways. Last evening’s win showed the determination of this team to overcome obstacles as well as to dominate their opponents. With the conference season around the corner and the realization of their goals and dreams for this season, the Huntsville match will be another important step for the Lady Tigers.

These girls deserve the support of the entire Charleston community. They deserve a packed gymnasium Thursday night to cheer them on to their third win. The Huntsville match looks like it will be a barn burner!

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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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