By Brian Besch
Apple Springs was the final non-district tune up for Goodrich volleyball Tuesday afternoon, and they made it a quick one on the south side of Polk County.
The Lady Hornets took an early 5-0 lead, and at 21-9, they were on the way to taking the opening set by 10 points. Apple Springs had an 8-6 advantage in the second set, but that quickly evaporated. Goodrich led 17-11 and would eventually win 25-17. Down 2-0 in the final set, Goodrich went on a 17-2 run, led by the serving of junior Arly Balbuena. They would win the third set 25-12.
Senior Latrina Morgan and freshman Bra’Niyah Wyatt had standout performances for the Lady Hornets in the sweep.
Goodrich volleyball coach Pinellafie Johnson said she likes the fact that she has a young (one junior and one senior) and coachable group. She says the players are quick to adjust whenever she instructs. They will still need to work on serves, transitioning and defense, according to Johnson.
“It’s been pretty good. They are steady working hard and we kick it off Friday with the first district game,” Johnson said. “You can’t lay down on anybody and you have to be ready. Leggett is our rivalry and we like playing each other. We have fun with each other, so we are looking forward to it.”
The youthful Lady Hornets have enjoyed success this season, even facing several larger schools in non-district.
“The girls are really having fun together. They are jelling so well so quickly. They are motivating themselves and I don’t have to try to motivate them now. They are finding things and ways to motivate themselves. That is a big difference, because any other time I am trying to pick them up when they are down. Even whenever they are losing, they keep themselves up.”
Johnson feels every school has a shot for the District 26-1A title. That includes, Goodrich, Leggett, Chester, Burkeville, Spurger and High Island, but she has an eye on one particular program.
“We can’t say any game is going to be easy. You have to fight for every game, but Chester, I know, is going to be pretty tough to compete with. All of them will be tough, but I think Chester is going to be fighting for that number one spot. We are still pushing to stay right up there with them. On any given night, it can be anybody’s game.”
The Leggett rivalry game will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Goodrich Friday. After that, the Lady Hornets travel to Burkeville Tuesday, then return home the next Friday for High Island.