Lady Tigers ready for home debut

The Demopolis High School volleyball team will make its 2012 home debut Thursday against area foe Greenville.

“It’s a big game for us not only because it is our first home date of the season, but also because it is our first area game,” Demopolis head coach Blythe Smith said. “We are coming off a frustrating loss and have not played in a week. We have to get focused early and stay that way.”

The Lady Tigers dropped a best-of-three match to Sweet Water (25-19, 25-20) last Thursday before having to reschedule Tuesday’s game with Thomasville due to the early closure of the Thomasville City Schools in view of the threat of inclement weather.

“We have to cram a lot of dates into a short amount of time and you like to have the rhythm that comes with your normal Tuesday-Thursday schedule,” Smith said. “But, we should come in fresh and ready to go Thursday.”

The Lady Tigers will look to improve upon a dreadful serving performance that saw them commit 15 service errors in two games against Sweet Water.

“I was worried about our serves going into that match,” Smith said. “We struggled with that in practice for a couple of weeks at the end of the summer and it really carried over. It is something we’ve worked on since then. If we can get our serves in and play the way we did on the floor against Sweet Water, we have a chance to be pretty good.”

Thursday’s game is the first of six regular season area contests for the Lady Tigers, who will also have to contend with Selma and Sumter-Central for the right to host the area tournament at season’s end.

“Our area got tougher this year,” Smith said. “Picking up Sumter-Central really changes the difficulty level. They were a very good team in their first year as a program last year. When you have an area like we have this year, you certainly cannot afford to start in the hole.”

The Lady Tigers will host Greenville at 5 p.m. at the Demopolis High School gym. Immediately following, Greenville will face Sumter-Central.