Categorized | Sports

Quartet of Quality Seniors

By Thomas Sellers Jr.

The Munford Volleyball seniors are Kelsey Hale, Cori Salois, Sami Jo Schulz and Lauren Zvolanek.

Last Tuesday was time once again for the Munford Lady Cougar Volleyball team to celebrate another decorated senior class.

Munford Head Coach Nina Makris, parents, friends and supports of the Lady Cougars shined the spotlight in the Munford Gymnasium on Cori Salois, Sami Jo Schulz, Lauren Zvolanek and Kelsey Hale.

The quartet has been a part of three Sub-State teams and reached the State Tournament its sophomore campaign. Among the individual awards and unbeaten District 13-3A streak, the Class of 2013 made sure to build what the Class of 2011 started.

Back in 2007 under then head coach Mike Anderson players like Crystal Williams and Scarlet Gable arrived helping the Lady Cougars reach it’s first State Tournament in volleyball. Gable went on to have her jersey retired setting several records along the way.

“It feels pretty good knowing we could keep it to that standard from her,” Hale said. “We are a really strong team. We work together and we stay strong together.”

The Class of 2013 learn from previous Lady Cougars like Brandi Hale, Lizzie McLean, Meagan and Dennison to name a few.

Those players were victorious on their Senior Nights. The Millington Lady Trojans came to town for this year’s edition of Senior Night.

In three competitive sets the Munford Lady Cougars kept the night festive winning 25-10, 25-28 and 25-20.

It’s a great feeling, but kind of bittersweet because it was our last home game,” Salois said. “Now we’re getting ready for the postseason. We’re are hoping this is not our last home game. If it was, we had the time of our lives.”

If the Lady Cougars win districts or Regionals they could host another game in the Munford Gymansium. But their last official home game started off hot when Salois served 10 points to close out Millington in the opening set 25-10.

Then it was the Lady Trojans getting off to a blazing start in the second set leading early. Then Munford managed to tie the set at 11-11.  Then Millington’s Elizabeth Woodard had a dual with Lady Cougar sophomore Cecily Gable.

The two standouts traded points via the spike, blocks and tips to have the match tied at 14-14.The Lady Cougars took their first lead in the set when Hale slapped down a spike to make the score 15-14.

Hale made the score 16-14 when she went back to the air and slammed down another kill in the Millington back row.

“It felt great to know that even when we’re down,” Hale said, “we can still come up and do our best to carry the team.”

The seniors’ job wasn’t over with yet with the Lady Trojans tying the set at 17-17. Then Munford outscored Millington 8-1 to close out the second set.

Munford appeared to be in cruise control in the third set. Behind by a large margin the Lady Trojans rallied behind plays from Jaymie Chism, Sierra Williams, Lindsey Sailors and Woodard. The score became 21-18 before Schulz closed the door on Millington with a spike.

Throughout the peaks and valleys of the night Salois and Zvolanek kept the team’s spirits up with cheering and encouragment on the court. Hale and Schulz attacked the net in crucial situations to pull out the victory.

Over the years the Munford senior class set the goal to keep the program as one of the best in Tennessee. Hale even went as far as to join Memphis Metro to improve her skills.

“It took a lot of dedication and time,” she said. “It wasn’t all fun. It took time out of my life. I had to do it anyway and be happy with it. I do like the rewards from it. I like being able to go out there and prove myself.”

The past four years hasn’t been about proving herself for Salois. She was happy to be a part of the program and make new friends.

“I was just having the time of my life out there,” she said. “I love volleyball and I love being a part of the Munford Volleyball program since my freshman year. I was just having so much fun out there.

Hale said hopefully the experience can end later this month in Middle Tennessee.

“I hope and pray the final chapter is written in Murfreesboro,” Hale said. “I hope we can go there and beat the team we come up against. Even if we don’t I’ll still be glad we got as far as we got.

“This has been a great year,” she concluded. “But I’m still hoping to get to Murfreesboro. That will be a great way to finish our senior year.”

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