First in-school volleyball match yields massive crowd, disappointing result


Junior Carson Jarmon tosses up the ball to serve in front of a mass of students.(photo by Russell Dearing)

Russell Dearing, Staff Writer

The Patriot varsity volleyball momentum left the gym as quickly as the fans on Wednesday. 

Homewood hosted its first in-school volleyball game on Sept. 21, drawing a high percentage of the student body in attendance during 6th and 7th periods. The Patriots faced off against the visiting Auburn High School Tigers, led by the top-ranked outside hitter in the state, 5-foot-10 East Carolina commit Ellie Pate. 

HHS jumped out of the gates, energized by its large crowd, and took the first two sets with relative ease, hinting that this match would be over shortly. 

However, that was far from the case.

Homewood Lettermen cheer on the Patriots. (photo by Russell Dearing)

As soon as the dismissal bell sounded at 3:10, the setting changed as the hundreds of Patriot fans left for the parking lot, save the Lettermen and the 50-person pep band.

The energy shift had a noticeable effect on the Patriots, as the Tigers surged to three straight wins behind Pate’s kills, each set by increasing deficits.

Homewood was not without bright spots, however, precisely the phenomenal play of senior captain Sydney Humes. The Patriot’s star Libero tallied a whopping 38 digs in an unprecedented showing, aided by junior Mira McCool’s 22 kills and captain senior Mary Przybysz’s 42 assists and 21 digs.

Regardless of the result, head coach Andie Freedman showed nothing, but appreciation for the immense support from all the students in attendance. 

Freedman was “thrilled” with the turnout, calling the energy from the crowd “electric,” and is incredibly grateful to get other groups of students involved through collaboration with the pep band, show choir and color guard.

More importantly, Freedman is excited about the implications that playing for a huge crowd will have on her girls moving forward, specifically down the road in playoffs.

She said that the in-school match was “exactly what we needed,” especially to prepare for the postseason and generally providing the chance to gain more experience playing in higher pressure situations.