High School Sports

Gulfport, Biloxi battled on the volleyball court Tuesday

Biloxi's Samaya Ali hits the ball while competing against Gulfport on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, at Gulfport.
Biloxi's Samaya Ali hits the ball while competing against Gulfport on Tuesday, September 13, 2016, at Gulfport. amccoy@sunherald.com

Gulfport High rallied from a one-game deficit to down rival Biloxi High 3-1 Tuesday night in the Region 8 Class III volleyball opener for both teams at Bert Jenkins Gymnasium.

Biloxi won the opening game 25-15 before Gulfport reeled off 25-9, 25-21 and 25-20 victories in the last three games.

“We have a bunch of new people — this is the fourth or fifth game with this lineup,’’ Gulfport coach David Irwin said after his team improved to 15-5. “We just got Alexis Marsh back from the knee injury she suffered in basketball. We have new people, a new system and it is a process.’’

Biloxi fell to 12-4. The Indians had defeated Gulfport in their previous meeting this season in a tournament.

Gulfport’s Maison Larmore recorded 6 kills and 1 block while Dywana Parker notched 4 kills and 5 blocks. Aley Woodberry had 4 kills and 2 blocks, Jayden Bishop 5 kills and Presley White 24 service points.

Biloxi took command in game one, breaking loose from an 11-all tie. Caitlyn Mullinax served out the last six points of the 25-15 win, with Semaya Ali closing out the game with a kill.

Gulfport bolted to a 7-1 lead in Game 2 en route to 25-9 win. Gulfport outlasted Biloxi 25-21 in Game 3, then held off a Biloxi rally in Game 4 for the clinching 25-20 win.

Larmore and Parker had some big kills at the net.

“She (Parker) has always played middle and she is now playing the right side for us,’’ Irwin said. “We are moving her around and getting her in a more natural position has really helped her and she is growing into that. (Larmore) is a senior in the program with a lot of experience. She has to get consistent. The more consistent she gets, the better chance we have of beating people.’’

Larmore registered a kill at the decisive moment in game four, giving Gulfport a 24-20 lead. Then she served out the match. Marsh, likewise, had a big kill to give Gulfport a 24-21 lead in Game 3, and then Nickie Hankins served out the game.

Biloxi was inconsistent with its serves after the opening-game win.

“We couldn’t get our serving game down tonight, and that ended up hurting us in the end,’’ Biloxi coach Rick Griffey said. “If we can’t serve, we can’t win. We came back several times. We have some great kids and we’ve come a long way this year. We are going to go a lot further. We will work on our serving (Wednesday).’’

Both teams continue region action Thursday, with Biloxi hosting Hancock while Gulfport travels to Harrison Central.

Related stories from Biloxi Sun Herald