The Southern Miss volleyball team held their annual Fan Day Saturday with the team focused on teaching kids valuable lessons on and off the court.
“It’s just getting the kids out here, ready to play,” said head coach Amanda Berkley. “I think we’ve got some new fans and I think they enjoyed it.”
The clinic, held at the newly renovated Reed Green Coliseum, consisted of fans doing one-on-one drills with the players.
“I think it was fun,” Berkley said. “Hopefully we gave a show to the crowd and they enjoyed it and hopefully they want to come back.”
The clinic was followed by the annual Black and Gold scrimmage on the court at 2:30 p.m.
The volleyball team was split into two equal sections, but this proved to be a mismatch in favor of the Black.
The Black team jumped out to a 6-2 lead by spiking the ball on nearly every possession.
The Gold team lacked the same height advantage as their counterparts, only having one player being listed above five-feet, ten-inches.
The play between both teams got intense as the Gold team rallied off a couple of points to cut the lead to 25-23.
The set ended up going to the Black team, as they held tight onto their lead throughout the set, winning 26-24. Clumsy play cost the Gold team as the Black team won on an unforced error.
“I think we’ve learned that we’ve got some energy,” Berkley said. “We had a lot of high-energy plays.”
The second set started off in favor of the Black team as it jumped out to a 6-3 advantage.
Unforced errors continued to haunt the Gold squad, but they fought back. The Gold squad fought back to tie the game at 15 apiece, shoring up the unforced errors.
The height of the Black squad did not spell doom for the Gold, as they were able to combat being relentlessly spiked on.
After scoring a come from behind victory, 25-21, the Gold team was able to even the match at 1-1.
The third set was more of the same, as the Gold squad trailed for the majority of the match, but continued to show resolve
. The Gold team rode the wave into the final plays of the set, where they took their first lead since the second set at 22-20.
The Black team jumped ahead again, as the unforced errors piled up for the Gold. The Black team went on a 5-1 run to end the set, winning 25-23.
A 15-8 run fueled the Black team in the fourth set, cruising to a 25-17 win to win the match 3-1.
The Gold team was severely outmatched from the outset due to the size differential, but there were still positives to draw on for both squads.
Now, the Lady Eagles can reset and look forward to their first game of the season.
“We’ll be off (Sunday) which means that the girls will get some rest, but we’ve got a tough week of practice,” Berkley said. “We’re excited about our first tournament and getting the season started.”
For the match, it was the first time that the volleyball team got to see the court.
“The new court is awesome,” Berkley said. “It pops. It’s brighter in here. The new Eagle head looks awesome.”
The Lady Eagles take on Mercer in the season opener on August 28.