Tamara Jacobus knew it would take time to take the Clover High School varsity volleyball team to the next level when she accepted the head coaching position.
That has been the case as the Clover girls strive to improve in one of the strongest regions in the Palmetto State.
The Blue Eagles’ quest for a competitive edge was evident in last week’s closely contested 3-1 loss to York.
Clover lost two games, 25-23 and 25-22, before winning 25-21 in game three. York took the final game of the best-of-five, 25-14.
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“It was the first time this year we’ve won after losing the first two games,” said Jacobus, whose passion for the sport is a driving force in elevating the CHS volleyball program to region and playoff-contender status.
“We have a young team,” she said. “The kids are working hard.”
After extending the Cougars to the limit in games one and two, Clover assumed control midway through the third game before a lively crowd at the York main gym.
Clover built a 3-0 lead early in the third game, but York fought back to establish a 14-11.
Taylor Nichols’ soft scoring shot at the net sliced York’s lead to 14-12. Then Ryehia Robbins’ crowd-pleasing rejection kept Clover within a single point.
Nichols’ well-placed serve gave Clover the lead at 17-16, which it then built to 19-16.
York scored twice and Clover answered, with Katie Robinson’s score expanding the lead to 22-18.
Lilly Wallace’s serving and Robinson’s kill down the stretch enabled the Blue Eagles to win by four.
Robbins continued her aggressive play in the two losses, with more rejections at the net; however, it was Robinson’s score that trimmed York’s lead to two points at 24-22 in game two of the best of five.
York built an early lead in the final game of the series.
The Blue Eagles continue Region 3-AAAA play, hosting Rock Hill on Thursday and Northwestern on Tuesday.
The games begin 6:30 p.m. both days at Clover High School’s new gym.