It was the prefect atmosphere for victory; cheerleaders flipping, the drum line in full effect and it seemed like everyone in the small town of Grambling was squeezed into Memorial gym for the first serve.
With the cameras focused on the Lady Tigers, they were unable to overcome the Devilettes of Mississippi Valley State University, 3-2. With this loss, Grambling drops their first conference game, 0-1 SWAC and 0-3 overall.
“The emotions that were on the fans faces was awesome, it was like they played that game with us,” said Coach Demetria Keys-Johnson.
With every possession on the line, Tiara McIver had the chance to even the score, 16-15. In the tiebreaker set, the game is only played to 15 points and the team must win by two.
McIver passes the ball too tight across the net. Setter, Tori Wilson tried to correct her mistake, but the MVS defender dumped the ball back over. McIver and Wilson tried to save the play, and the game, but it was too late, 17-15.
“She (McIver) tried to go up for the block but couldn’t over power the opponent,” said Kayla Lewis, native of McDonough, Georgia.
Grambling compiled 26 errors throughout five sets compared to only 18 by MVSU.
“I saw them stay together as a family. Even after errors, I know they have that fight in them. So if we ever get in a jam, it can only get better for us it’s still early for us,” said Keys-Johnson.
As April Johnson walked from the locker room, the gravity of her injury was evident.
“It’s really hard, but I am trying to work hard for my team,” said the Cedar Hill, Texas native.
She disregarded her ankle pain because she wasn’t the only player hurt.
The players indicated that this season has already been a trying one.
“We have lost players, some playing with injuries and a freshman starting,” said Asia Drenon.
Dorothy Brown is struggling with a right shoulder problem. Brillante Osborne is dealing with a hand injury and Lydia Rawlings is out with what appears to be a torn meniscus.
“We have injuries but we are fighting through them,” said Keys-Johnson.
The Lady Tigers next game is against University of Monroe today in the Memorial Gym at 6:30.