Photo by Derrick Mahone
Jonesboro players Alexicia Cross (1), Ashley Hand (2) and Briana Benson (4) awaits a serve from a teammate in the Cardinals match at Eagle’s Landing Christian on Thursday.
At the beginning of each game, Jonesboro looked as if it was going to pull the upset over Eagle’s Landing Christian Thursday.
But each time, the third-ranked Chargers would get on a roll to close out the game.
In the end, ELCA defeated the visiting Cardinals 25-15, 25-13, 25-17 to win the best-of-five match.
“We are not at that level yet,” Jonesboro coach Dan Maehlman said. “It is going to take us a while, that is why we are put some good teams on our schedule this season. We have some newcomers, and it will take time for them to jell.”
That’s probably why Maehlman is not overly concerned about the team’s 8-6 record as the team heads to Brunswick today to participate in the Play at the Beach Tournament at Glynn Academy.
“It will help a lot playing good competition like this,” Maehlman said. “It is huge to face good competition. Right now, we have a lot of new players and they just don’t trust each other on the court. Going to Brunswick will give us a chance to bond on the court.”
ELCA coach Jim Barlow wasn’t as impressed with his squad as it heads into its fall break next week. When the Chargers return, they will travel to Lovett for the Block Party Tournament, which features some of the top teams from the state and Southeast.
“This is really a fun tournament,” Barlow said. “You are going to face some good teams. If you are in the top half of this tournament, you have a good shot at winning state. There will be a lot of great teams there. It doesn’t help in turns of the way your won-loss record looks.”
But Barlow is looking to prepare his team for the upcoming area and state tournament.
In the sweep of Jonesboro, which reached the Class AAAA Elite Eight last season, Mara Green had 15 kills and two blocks. Rachel Tolleson had 16 kills and Kodi Patterson finished with 36 assists and three kills.
“Every game we are looking to improve,” said Green, who has verbally committed to signing with Florida State in November. “The seniors are stepping up and taking a leadership role.”