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The Madison Record

Bob Jones Defeats James Clemens In Crosstown Volleyball Action

MADISON- The Bob Jones Patriots scored the first and last points in their match against crosstown rival James Clemens and went on to post a three-game sweep in the volleyball match held at James Clemens. Exhibiting just a little more firepower than the Jets could handle, the Patriots (10-7) rolled to easy scores of 25-19, 25-15 and 25-16 to take the victory on the Jets’ home court.

“I think we did very well considering my starting setter, Adeline Barnes, has a concussion right now, but I thought we handled it pretty well,” said Cassie Mullinax, head coach of Bob Jones. “My younger setter and outside play along with our serve-receive play was pretty good, but we have to keep getting better.”

From the opening point, the Patriots seemed to have the upper hand, although the first game was more or less even after an 11-7 lead by Bob Jones, thanks in part to super saves, especially from Paola Delgado who threw her body into making tremendous saves. In the second game, the Jets opened a 5-nothing lead before Mullinax called a timeout and had her Patriots rediscover their top notch play. They took the lead at 6-5 with a block at the net and then coupled the block with soft-touch returns by both Parker Runnion and Joy Robinson, two of the front row players for Bob Jones.

“We seemed to be out of rhythm for most of the match, but we had that 5-0 lead and gave it all back,” said Amanda Wood, head coach of James Clemens (5-13). “That shows any team can come back quickly in this sport. Overall, we served the way I wanted us to, but did not incorporate the things we’ve been working on as our girls were afraid to make a mistake and we’ve got to fix that mentally and just go for it.”

One of the bright spots for the Jets came from junior Emma Hopkins. She showed true grit through a barrage of different slams and saves. After the match, she said she didn’t play her best, but definitely was not her worst effort. She added, “We just didn’t have as much energy as Bob Jones. I think we just hesitate too much when the ball drops and makes us have mistakes.”

“I don’t like the hesitating of worrying about making a mistake. That’s not us,” added Wood. “When we can change our mindsets about going for it instead of hesitating, it will make a big difference in our play.”

In game three, the Jets fought back and took the lead at 9-8 on what was the play of the match. A kill shot by Bob Jones ricocheted out of backcourt and a great save and a perfect return for a point by James Clemens excited the nice, but socially distanced crowd. Bob Jones came back to take the lead 15-14 and proceeded to outscore James Clemens 10-2 through the end of the game and match.

“I think we’re making progress as this is a great group to work with as they are very hard workers and do anything I ask of them,” said Mullinax. “I’m very fortunate where we are as we’ve lost some very close matches against some very good teams. We’re getting better and as long as the season continues, I think we’ll do very well.”

Bob Jones lost in the semi-finals of the State Tournament a season ago and with tremendous depth and experience on this year’s squad, there’s a good chance the Patriots can return to the spot of being two steps away from a state title.

The two teams will face off again on Sept. 29 on the home court of the Patriots.

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