The Port Arthur News
NEDERLAND — No matter what has happened before, competition is what it is. When it’s time to compete, a participant or a team has to be ready.
Justeen Coulson proudly can say her Nederland volleyball players were ready to bring their finest performance to their home Dogdome on Friday evening.
And Barbara Comeaux could say her Port Neches-Groves players brought pretty much the opposite kind of outing across the tracks in this District 20-4A rematch.
Nederland had the spring in its step, winning 25-7, 25-17, 25-18 on a crosstown excursion which the Rock-A-Noos and their Hall of Fame legendary coach never anticipated.
The first-year coach with a brand-new program, Coulson saw her girls lose two of their previous three matches, but Nederland swept this Mid-County meeting, improving to 21-12 overall and 5-6 in the district.
“I think my team played together,” the Nederland head coach said. “They’ve been wanting this night so badly because they’ve had so many heart-breaking games, especially in some of these district games.
“They played together the entire match. There was a lot of leadership on the court tonight. My seniors wanted this one really bad. We had a good practice yesterday and again earlier today.”
Emma Forysthe produced 29 assists to inspire her Nederland mates. Kelsey Beard provided her usual leadership with 13 kills and six aces. Tara Gillespie hustled to lead the NHS defense with 10 digs. Kinsey Miller supported Beard in the serving column with five aces.
Entering with a three-match winning streak and a chance to clinch a 4A state playoff berth, Comeaux saw her girls fall to 19-10 and 7-4.
Comeaux showed her usual great class in her post-game remarks, crediting Nederland for the victory.
“We have to tip our hat to Nederland tonight,” the Rock-A-Noos mentor said. “They were a much-improved team. They played much better than we did tonight... We probably played our best game of the year on Tuesday night at our place when we beat Livingston but we didn’t play well at all tonight. No, I didn’t see this coming at all.”
Kelsey Collier paced the Rock-A-Noos with eight digs and six kills. Kamryn Trahan delivered six digs and three service points.
PN-G has no time for sympathy because District 20-4A leader Lumberton visits The Reservation on Tuesday night at 6:30. Nederland hits the road for a trip to Vidor on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.