Before the season started, Horseshoe Bend volleyball head coach Julie Turner said expectations were high. After what she called a “rebuilding year” last season, Turner wanted her team to move on to 2022.
In 10 games, the Lady Generals have done just that.
On Thursday, Horseshoe Bend added another win to their season tally with a three-set sweep of the Reeltown Rebels. The Lady Generals won hands down, 25-17, 25-11, 25-10.
“We played really well,” Turner said. “Our strike is starting to come to life. We are really starting to hit the ball well. We are playing better together as a team and all aspects of our team are starting to come together.
Beating Reeltown on Thursday is the fourth straight win for Horseshoe Bend, and the second time this season the Lady Generals have beaten the Rebels.
A big reason for the winning streak and last night’s win was the team’s hitting prowess.
“Our hitting was one of our strengths last night,” Turner said.
Leading the charge in the batting department were Reagan Taylor, Kenzie Wood and Greenleigh Key.
Taylor led the team with nine eliminations, closely followed by Wood with seven. Key added five of his own.
Turner also pointed out that senior Charlie Cotney hit well.
“When you have four girls who can actually hit the ball, that really helps a lot,” Turner said. “My four hitters did a really good job last night.”
Just halfway through their season, Turner said she liked where her team was.
“We like where we are,” Turner said. “It’s a good time to figure things out. I told the girls to keep being patient and things will come. We hit our zone games at the right time.
Even with big wins, Turner pointed out that his young team still struggled to communicate in-game.
Horseshoe Bend has only three seniors, including Cotney.
Of the other three batters last night, none is a senior as Taylor is a junior, Wood is a freshman, and Key is a sophomore.
Prior to the start of the season, Turner said that while his team was young, they still had experience playing as a group. But the team will have to act better as a whole if the wins are to keep coming.
“We really need to work on our communication with each other in games,” Turner said. “Last night it caused us some minor problems. If games were to get faster, communication needs to improve.
Serving and hitting, however, have been the bread and butter of a team coached by Turner, and Thursday’s game was a solid example of that.
Both Cotney and Key have excelled in their service roles, leading their team in quality services.
Not one to single out players for individual performances, Turner noted that Taylor played “the best I’ve seen all season.”
“I spoke to her after the game to tell her how happy I was that she was hitting and playing at a high level,” Turner said.
When asked what Taylor said of Turner’s praise, the coach noted that his humble junior didn’t have much to say.
“She just looked at me and said ‘Yes ma’am,'” Turner said. “She understands her role and understands how I need her to get things done.”
Next up for Horseshoe Bend is a regional game against Lanett on Monday.
Turner said she and her team didn’t know much about the Panthers, but that didn’t change the way they operate or prepare.
“When we don’t know much about a certain team, we go out and play our best and everything will work itself out,” Turner said.