The Jackson volleyball team took the court for the first time in front of a home crowd last week on Thursday night for its annual Gatorade Game.
This game acts as a jamboree featuring three other teams from the area — Advance, Oak Ridge and Woodland.
All four teams played each other in two sets up to 15 points (two-point margin). The Indians first took on Oak Ridge, ending in a 1-1 (15-9, 15-8) tie.
Jackson was able to take a 1-0 lead to start the first set, but the Blue Jays went on a 4-0 run to follow.
Junior middle hitter Mackenzie Stoner was able to help lead the Indians within two points of the Blue Jays with a pair of kills to make it 8-6, but Oak Ridge forced the ball out three times to make it 11-6.
Oak Ridge eventually took set one 15-9, but the Indians evened things up in set two, where senior hitter Emily Scott recorded a team-high four kills.
Both teams were tied 3-3 after an exchange of kills and side outs, but Jackson’s senior libero Hannah Wilson was able to spark her team with a dig followed by Scott’s second kill of the set.
Senior setter Lainey Broussard scored an ace to extend the run. Sophomore outside hitter Haylee Quat-mann then came up with her own kill to give the Indians a 6-3 lead.
Oak Ridge was able to make a comeback and tie the Indians at 8-all, but another sophomore outside hitter in Olivia Ward was able to spark a 7-0 run for the win.
Ward did so with an aggressive kill followed by Broussard setting up Stoner for a kill of her own. Quatmann then recorded an ace as Stoner came up with a block to give Jackson a 13-8 lead.
The final point of the match was scored by Ward, who spiked the ball for Jackson to take the second set 15-8.
This provided momentum for the Indians heading into game two of the night, where they faced Woodland and defeated the Cardinals 2-0 (15-14, 15-13).
The first set was highlighted by Wilson, who came up with five aces in a row following a kill by Ward to give Jackson a 7-3 lead.
Woodland was able to narrow the margin to two points at 10-8 with a block, but an error by the Cardinals and a kill from Stoner made it a four-point contest at 12-8.
After the Indians scored one more point, Woodland was able to go on a 4-0 run and brought it to a one-point affair after each team scored.
Woodland eventually tied the game after a side out, but Jackson’s sophomores were determined to take the set.
Tied 14-14, Ward came up with a tip for the next score and sophomore middle hitter Hannah Shinn produced the set-winning kill to follow.
Jackson’s middle hitters showed dominance in set two as they combined for a total of seven kills with Shinn scoring four of them as well as the set winner.
The Cardinals were able to make it another close set as the game was either tied or a one-point difference for eight of the final 10 plays.
Jackson came up short in the final game of the night against Advance as the Indians dropped both sets by a score of 15-12.
The Indians led by as much as four points in set one at 8-4 with two kills each from Shinn and Ward.
The Hornets ended the set on a 5-0 run for the win, which propelled them to going on two 5-0 runs in set two.
Jackson took a 3-0 lead to start the second and final set of the night as Scott and Ward came up with a kill apiece.
Advance was able to create a six-point lead at 12-6 as the team started going with tips for kills instead of spikes.
The Indians narrowed Advance’s lead to 13-10 after an ace from senior Kia Fellows, but the deficit was too much.
Jackson starts the regular season Tuesday at Advance and hosts Dexter Thursday.