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Jonesboro sweeps, Forest Park splits

By Brian Howard

The Jonesboro High School volleyball team rolled to their seventh and eighth victories of the season Tuesday, beating Forest Park and Stone Mountain in a three-team match at Jonesboro High School.

The Lady Cardinals (8-0 overall, 4-0 in 3-AAAA region) knocked off Forest Park in the opener, 25-14 and 25-14, then defeated Stone Mountain in the finale, 25-18 and 25-5.

After falling to Jonesboro, Forest Park bounced back, beating Stone Mountain, 25-22, 19-25 and 25-12.

Jonesboro coach Daniel Maehlman said he was proud of the girls coming back and responding in the first game against Stone Mountain.

"We've played eight games this season with a young team," Maehlman said.

"We have four juniors and two sophomores starting for us. Its hard to play a 5 p.m. game, sit in a hot gym and wait, then come back out and play the second match."

Jonesboro trailed the Lady Pirates in the first game, 6-0, before Maehlman called a timeout. The Lady Cardinals responded by rallying to get the win.

The wake-up call carried over to the second game, as Jonesboro jumped out to leads of 9-0 and 13-2, before winning 25-5.

"The last game we played is the way we need to play in every single game," Maehlman said.

Maehlman said he instills in his volleyball program the mentality to win and to be the best, not just on the court, but in the classroom as well.

"The players love to win and hate to lose," Maehlman said. "They are such a young squad and we'll have everyone back."

After playing against Jonesboro in the first match, the Lady Panthers (5-2, 3-1) held off a late rally by the Lady Pirates to win the opening game, 25-22. Stone Mountain opened the second game with a 17-3 advantage, before winning, 25-19.

In the deciding game, Forest Park jumped out to leads of 8-1 and 19-10, before taking the match, 25-12.

"I think we have been improving in each match," Lady Panthers coach Lawrence McGraw said.

"Jonesboro and Stone Mountain have good teams and tremendous coaching staffs."

McGraw said the goal this season to make the state playoffs.

Stone Mountain entered the three-team match with a 2-1 record, but fell to 2-4.

Jonesboro looks to remain unbeaten Thursday at home in a three-team match against Northgate and Riverdale.