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Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Womack, Charleston Overpower Booneville 3-0 For 6th Consecutive Conference Win

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The Charleston Lady Tigers volleyball team began the second half of the conference season on Thursday hosting the Booneville Lady Bearcats. Charleston (11-1, 7-1) defeated Booneville 3-0. Next up for the Lady Tigers is a rematch with Paris in Charleston on Tuesday.

Several Lady Tigers stood out in the sweep over Booneville, but perhaps none like senior Jadyn Womack. In the third set, Womack, seemingly taking over the match, had several dramatic kills to lead Charleston to a big lead. After giving up several late points in the third set for the second consecutive game, the Lady Tigers wrapped up the third set and the regular season sweep of Booneville. Coach Ryan Rachuy commented on Womack’s performance. “I’m telling you, when we can figure out what we are doing with her, she is a difficult player to stop. She really is. We’ve got some really good girls. Jadyn is one of those girls (in the conference). If we can figure out what we are doing with her, she puts the ball down. When you get her fed and you get her going, she starts swinging at that ball harder, and harder, and harder. One isn’t enough for her, she wants two, two isn’t enough, she wants three and on and on. That third set, that was one of those keys that set that third set apart. First set, we, not to take anything away from Booneville, but we had twelve errors to my count. You go out there and commit twelve errors and you give up twelve points, and your asking for every team to be in the match with you. We challenged the girls to cut that error count in half the second set and they did. Starting out that third set we were really on fire. They’re feeding Jadyn and balls were going down. I don’t know how many kills she had in a row but it was several. Then we got lax. We decided we were not going to finish it. That’s something I am going to have to work on as a coach. I’ve got to get out here with these girls and help them understand that this is not how you play championship volleyball.”

Another bright spot in the Charleston win was the play of Lady Tigers libero Kenzie Revis. Revis, who is not afraid to hit the floor for any ball, caught the eye of Rachuy. “That is one of the things I am very proud of all of our liberos. Kenzie is a senior who has worked very hard over the past three years to put herself in the position that she is. There were a couple of games where she struggled and we put the other girls in there. We have Rilyn Robison, who is a junior, and is a very scrappy player. She gets out there and, when her head is in it, she can move with anyone. We have a sophomore in Macie Oldridge, who wasn’t feeling good tonight, but yet she still got underneath a few balls that were going to drop, but she got herself under them, and we were able to play those. Over the past two or three games, Kenzie has really turned it on. I don’t think she has had a single ball handling error in the last two sets. When she’s going, gets her feet moving, over the past three games, she has really turned that on.”

While we are passing out kudos to the team, I would like to pay special tribute to the students and fans who have come out and supported the Lady Tigers this year. The student section especially has grown and has become an increasingly significant factor in creating a home court advantage for Charleston.

And that home court advantage will be needed Tuesday night as the Paris Lady Eagles come calling in their conference season rematch. Paris, who has given Charleston its only loss of the season, will come into the Charleston gymnasium undefeated at 16-0, and will bring a large fan contingent. It appears at this stage of the season that Paris and Charleston may be the best two teams in the conference, and this match could be a preview of a possible district tournament match-up in October.

It will take an all out effort on the part of the Lady Tigers to upset Paris. It will also take an all out effort on behalf of the Charleston fans to turn out in large numbers to create a loud and proud home court advantage for the Lady Tigers. Charleston fans, your team deserves your support. Come out and cheer your team on against the defending Class 3A champions.

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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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