North Pulaski volleyball coach Benjie Belton is experiencing the ups and down and highs and lows of a young volleyball team.
Comprised mostly of sophomores with an upperclassman scattered here and there, the Falcons at moments play well, but other times it is obvious they are young.
"We click at times and are competitive," Belton said. "I’m not saying we are good, but we play a lot better when we are clicking."
Because the Falcons don’t have offensive firepower, they are relying on defense and serving to get them through a contest. The key will be getting serves in and digging up as many balls as possible. North Pulaski has no problem defending hard hits, but a smart team outwits them.
"We can’t get four to five to serve well at the same time," Belton said. "Our serves cause problems when we can do what we want with them. If a team pounds the ball, we can field it, but if teams start playing smart, we don’t see it."
Last week, the Falcons did win a conference match in three sets over West Helena. They competed in Spikefest this past weekend in Little Rock, and Belton said they played well. That didn’t translate to this past Tuesday when they lost at Pulaski Academy, 25-10, 25-8, 25-14.
Belton said North Pulaski should have beaten Little Rock Central over the weekend and held its own with a team from Texas. He said the Texas team was full of athletes, and the Falcons were able to defend their hits but couldn’t put the ball back down on them. In a contest against Greenwood, North Pulaski played with the Bulldogs but lost when Greenwood was smart in where it placed the ball.
Against Pulaski Academy, the Falcons got better as the match progressed. They did have moments of giving the Bruins fits with their serves.
Regardless of whether they win or lose, the Falcons are having fun. Additionally, they are getting better every week if only the consistency would come. The other thing that is nice for Belton is this group of girls has no drama, and they all like each other that helps Belton better able to handle not winning.
North Pulaski faces Jacksonville today, and one thing Belton is sure of is the Falcons will play hard and give their all.