By Anthony Rhoads, Jeffery Armstrong and Doug Gorman
Undefeated: The Mt. Vernon volleyball team is currently undefeated with a 9-0 record.
The Lady Crusaders are coming off two victories against Philadelphia and Killian Hill. They beat Philadelphia 25-16, 25-10 and 25-16 and Killian Hill 25-11, 25-9 and 25-9.
Standouts were Sam Bailey, Hannah Hembree, Jessie Bailey, Becca Estes, Katie Harter and Rebecca Little.
Head coach Angela Fisher said excellent team effort and effective serving have been keys to the team's success so far this year.
Building a dynasty: Jonesboro head volleyball coach Dan Maehlman was on the bench as an assistant coach last season when the boys varsity basketball team made it all the way to the Class AAAAA state championship game. He would also love for his girls volleyball team to enjoy a similar experience by making a run at the state title.
Since helping the Lady Cardinals' launch the volleyball team four years ago, the team has enjoyed plenty of success, including winning region and county titles. Maehlman has also won more than 100 games in his short coaching career.
Area championship preview: When the Eagle's Landing and Jonesboro volleyball teams played last week in an area match, it could have been a preview of things to come later this season. Both teams are among the best volleyball teams in their area and could meet down the road in the for the area title.
Building a program: The Riverdale Lady Raiders were swept by North Clayton last Thursday, but Riverdale head coach Rod Lambert wasn't extremely upset about the non-area loss. He chose to focus on the positives about Riverdale's season: the team has won the most games in school volleyball history (12) and advanced to the loser's bracket finals of the county volleyball tournament, beating North Clayton, Forest Park and Mundy's Mill. The Raiders lost to the eventual tourney finalists, Jonesboro and Morrow.
Eagle aces: North Clayton swept South Atlanta, but were swept by Heritage in area action last week. The Lady Eagles defeated South Atlanta 25-12, 25-7, 25-7 and were led by Rockelle Smith's 10 service aces and one kill shot. Kendra Courtland had nine aces and Jasmine Sykes had eight aces against the Lady Hornets of South Atlanta.
This game is fun, but?: North Clayton's Rockelle Smith is another athlete who prefers basketball a little more than volleyball.
"Basketball is more competitive than volleyball and it's a little more complex," said Smith. "You've got to remember a lot more plays in basketball."
The basketball forward does like making kill shots and digging the ball in volleyball, but would rather post up in basketball.