Winston seals Lady Dogs’ first win

WHITE HALL – In Monday’s loss to Mayflower, the game ended on a spike that ricocheted off of White Hall senior Alexis Winston and went out of bounds.

After the match, White Hall head coach Steven Powell told Winston to remember that, “Because one of these days, you are going to get a chance to end a game like that.”

She didn’t have to wait very long.

On Thursday, Winston punished a ball through a pair of Pulaski Robinson defenders to give the Lady Bulldogs (1-1) the game and match.

“I think that (Mayflower) game went through her mind before she hit that one,” Powell said.

White Hall defeated Robinson 3-2 (25-19, 22-25, 22-25, 25-18, 15-12) for its first win of the season.

In Game 5, senior Hailey Wilkins tied the game at 12 with a spike and junior Summer Henderson also had a kill to give the Lady Bulldogs a 13-12 lead.

“That’s what I expect out of them,” Powell said. “(Wilkins and Winston) are seniors and they’ve been playing volleyball for four years.

“They are both big seniors and I expect a lot from them this year.”

In the deciding game, Robinson jumped out to a 5-0 lead before Powell called a timeout. After returning from the timeout, Robinson rolled off three more to take an 8-1 lead, so Powell had to use his final timeout of the game.

“I told them, ‘you got to make up your mind right now,’” Powell said. “They’ve got seven more points before they win, but if we can score 14 before they score seven, we win.

“I just left it at that.”

Following his second timeout, White Hall went on a 5-0 run to cut the deficit to 8-7 and scored four more to take an 11-9 lead.

“I’m trying to get my girls to realize, that we want to be a winning program,” Powell said. “We aren’t going to play not to lose anymore.

“We are going to play to win.”

Last season, White Hall finished tied for fourth in the 5A-South Conference, with the tiebreaker belonging to Hot Springs. Powell said even though they went five games against Robinson – a 7-4A school – he is not too concerned about the conference right now.

“Robinson has had a volleyball program for a while now and they played well,” Powell said. “I think we are going to be OK in our conference.”

White Hall will host 6A-South conference opponent El Dorado on Tuesday with the junior varsity match scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m.

In junior varsity action, White Hall defeated Pulaski Robinson 2-1 (25-21, 22-25, 15-10).