Kingwood volleyball aiming high

Published 11:40 am Wednesday, October 1, 2008

With the top two volleyball teams in the AISA leaving to join the AHSAA this year, Kingwood head coach John Jones has one destination in sight — a state title, and he’ll be disappointed if his team doesn’t reach the goal.

“We’re really ahead of where I thought we would be,” Jones said. “I did not think we would gel as well as we do … If we’re at 75 percent, we can beat most of the teams in the AISA.”

But, while Jones is looking to lead Kingwood to its seventh-straight Final Four later this month, he knows his team cannot rely on winning at 75 percent effort, as was shown Monday.

Kingwood received a wake up call Monday, falling at Prattville Christian. The Lions took the first two games 25-22 and 31-29, but narrowly dropped the next two, 25-23 and 26-24, before falling 15-8 in game five.

“We didn’t have a lot of passion,” Jones said of his team losing after being up two games. “We just weren’t ready to play.”

Lauren Rozof and Heather Matzke had 14 and 13 kills, respectively, while Matzke also had four aces.

The loss is just the fourth for Kingwood (23-4) this season. However, the lack of ability to seal the deal with a few reserves in the game, concerns Jones.

“Overall I can’t complain about the season. My only problem in losing this game is it is an area game. We’ve got to go beat Clarke Prep and Southern Academy, and we’ll have two losses (in the area). I expected to be the No. 1 seed, but we may not be now,” Jones said.

Despite the loss, which can partially be credited to Jones experimenting with his lineup in order to prepare for upcoming tournaments, Kingwood’s chances of returning to the Final Four and running the table are not out of the question.

“I will be disappointed if we don’t win state,” Jones said.