SAYING JEFFERSON suffered an oh-so-close loss in the first round of the state volleyball tournament would be putting it mildly.
The Dragons pushed Calhoun to five games and three match points but couldn’t knock off the no. 1 seed on the road last Wednesday in a 25-21, 26-24, 22-25, 14-25, 16-18 loss.
Jefferson finished the season 28-16, exceeding expectations.
The Dragons are currently ranked no. 5 in the state.
“We did more than I thought we would be able to do actually,” Jefferson coach Mike Paul said. “You always go into a season optimistic, but this season with graduating eight seniors from last year, the optimism wasn’t that high. This has been a great group of kids to work with.”
With another point here or there Wednesday, the season would have continued. Jefferson had a match point in game three and two more in game five.
“When it came down to the end, we needed to make one more play,” Paul said.
Jefferson will return much of this year’s roster next year. The Dragons, however, lose their main player, Sarah Wood, who left her mark on the Jefferson record book.
Wood, an all-state nominee, broke four school records — most kills in a season (509), most kills in a match (30), most blocks in a season and most digs in a season. She also shares a record with Grace Williamson for most digs in a match (10).
“We’re going to miss her (Wood), and we’re going to miss Amanda Flowers at the same time,” Paul said. “They were the two seniors that played the most. Somebody will just have to step up and in this situation maybe two players may have to step up.”