Jonesboro volleyball team won the Clayton County Championship for the 12th straight team this past weekend. Now, the Lady Cardinals must turn their attention to defending their area championship this week at Forest Park.
Jonesboro coach Dan Maehlman was pleased with the end results, but knows that his volleyball team will have to continue to make improvements for the start of this week’s area tournament.
The Lady Cardinals cruised to their 12th straight Clayton County Championship with a win over Drew in the championship match.
“I wouldn’t say I’m pleased, we did play decent at times,” Maehlman said. “I’m pleased that we won the whole thing. We still have a ways to go to prepare for this weekend.”
If Jonesboro wins matches today against Ola and host Mount Zion, it will earn a first round bye for the Area 4-AAAA tournament, which starts Thursday at Forest Park.
“To be honest, this season you are going to have to play everybody if you want to win it,” Maehlman said. “There is not one dominating team in the area. There are about four or five that have a shot.”
The coach is hoping that this past weekend’s county championship will give his team a confidence boost.
“I think this win has brought the team closer together,” senior Jasmine Mitchell said. “We have a chance to do well in the area tournament. I think we have the determination.”
In winning the county tournament, Jonesboro defeated Riverdale (25-8, 25-20), Mundy’s Mill (25-9, 25-23), Drew (25-16, 25-16). The team got a 25-20, 25-5, 19-25, and 25-7 win over Drew in the championship game.
Maehlman said the team takes a lot of pride in its county championships.
“You never want to be that class to lose the county,” he said. “If you are a senior, and lose, it stick with you. We are still making some mistakes, but I think we are heading in the right direction.”
The coach said that the team is improving on passing and serving, which has traditionally been the team’s Achilles’ heel.
“This year is no different than the rest in that regards,” Maehlman said. “The only difference is that we have not progressed and gotten better as we usually do. This is something that we work on. It is all that we are working on now.”
Maehlman said he will likely see an improvement as the team has settled on a lineup. The Lady Cardinals are the two-time area champions, and are looking to win their eighth in the last 12 years.
“I’m sure winning county will boost their confidence,” he said. “I could see a difference in the team over the weekend. They are starting to trust each other. They were doing more encouraging than yelling. We have won six games in a row, and I think this is a great time to start picking it up.”