Lafayette Claims 5A Volleyball Title, defeats East Central

Published 2:36 pm Friday, October 20, 2023

The Lafayette Lady Commodores marked a significant milestone on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 19, as they clinched the MHSAA Class 5A State Championship by overcoming East Central in straight sets at the Gillom Center at the University of Mississippi. Under the astute leadership of Head Coach Taylor Elliot and the on-court prowess of Harmony Jackson, crowned 5A Miss Volleyball, the victory encapsulated a season of hard-fought battles and commendable achievements.

After the victory, Elliot was quick to acknowledge the relentless effort of her team throughout the season, stating, “Well, for one I definitely want it to be known that all the praise definitely goes to the girls. I mean, they worked their tails off; they earned every bit of their accomplishments this year, and I definitely want just like all the praise to go to them.”

She further reflected on the team’s journey, noting the challenges faced in tournament play. “Most of our losses this season – we have 11 losses – eight of them came from tournament play,” she disclosed, shedding light on the rigorous competitive landscape the Lady Commodores navigated.

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Highlighting the exceptional leadership of senior player Harmony Jackson, Elliot added, “And I think that when people watch us play, especially here her senior year, she definitely stood out as a leader on the court, but also she was a leader like outside of just scoring.”

The championship match kicked off with Lafayette setting a dominant pace, clinching the first set 25-15. With her striking performance of six kills and four blocks, Jackson orchestrated a formidable defense, propelling her team forward.

East Central attempted a comeback in the second set, briefly leading 18-13. However, Lafayette’s potent 11-3 run reversed the tide, concluding the set 25-21 and diminishing East Central’s morale.

Lafayette’s unwavering determination was on full display in the third set as they surged to a 20-10 lead, ultimately securing the set 25-15. Jackson’s final service ace sent waves of joy through the Lafayette student section, embodying the collective triumph.

As the match concluded, Jackson was honored with the game MVP trophy, a fitting recognition of her indispensable contributions and the moment of victory, with the Lafayette Lady carrying their trophy among a jubilant crowd.

It reflected not only the culmination of a season filled with strenuous effort, but also the exemplary leadership and talent of Harmony Jackson, whose accolades now include the esteemed 5A Miss Volleyball title and a state championship MVP award.