Home sweet home for Morrow in '04 opener

By Jeffery Armstrong

The Morrow Lady Mustangs volleyball team took advantage of their first home matches in over a year, earning a sweep over county rivals Mt. Zion and North Clayton Tuesday night.

The Lady Mustangs improved to 2-0 on the young season.

"I think we did good today, but I feel we can play much better. We made some mental errors that hurt us," said junior hitter Jordan Greenleaf. "Our setters were good, but we have to talk more on defense."

Morrow defeated Mt. Zion 25-15, 25-16 and defeated North Clayton 25-12, 25-23. In both matches, the Lady Mustangs dominated the first game, but had to scratch and claw to win the second game.

The Mt. Zion Lady Bulldogs had a 7-1 lead in game two against Morrow, thanks to great play from Dee Dee Pearce, Mikayla Jordan, Brianna Deas and Nicole Rowell. But Morrow climbed back in the game and eventually took a 22-16 lead, thanks to good setting from Alexis Ofodile and kills from Greenleaf and Ashley Codgell. The Lady Mustangs went on to win the game and match, 25-16.

Morrow sprinted to a 9-0 lead in game one against the North Clayton Lady Eagles and never looked back. A kill shot by Morrow's Danielle Taylor put her team's lead at 20-6 and the Lady Mustangs cruised to a 25-12 win.

Game two was much more competitive. North Clayton sprinted to leads of 10-5 and 15-10 before Morrow made another comeback, tying the game at 16. Morrow made some mistakes, however, and North Clayton retook the lead at 19-16. But a North Clayton service error and a kill by Morrow's Taylor got the Lady Mustangs within one at 19-18 and that was the momentum they needed.

Morrow tied the game at 20 and 21 before Tara Thornton's service ace put the Lady Mustangs up 23-21. But Thornton made an error on her next serve to make the score 23-22 and then the Lady Eagles tied the game at 23. Thornton made up for her service error by hitting another service ace to close out North Clayton 25-23.

"I was a little bit nervous before the matches, but I think I played well," said Thornton, a junior who played her first varsity matches Tuesday. "I think we played well overall n we just have to work on our serve/receive."

North Clayton went 1-1 in its first matches of the season, losing to Morrow but defeating Mt. Zion in three games n 26-24, 7-25, 25-9.

Ashley Johnson's service aces early and Jasmine Sakes' kill shots late gave North Clayton the 26-24 win in game one, while Mt. Zion jumped to a 20-6 lead in game two en route to the 25-7 win. Sykes led the Lady Eagles to a 19-4 lead in game three and Rockelle Smith's two kill shots late helped North Clayton win the match, 25-9.

n In other volleyball action from Tuesday evening, the Jonesboro Lady Cardinals started their season 2-0, traveling into Henry County and getting wins over Henry County High and Eagle's Landing Christian Academy.

Jonesboro defeated Henry in two games, 25-7 and 25-18 but the Lady Cardinals needed three games to beat ELCA, 22-25, 25-19 and 25-21.