A few tears were shed after the BI Lady Tigers were knocked out of the playoffs Thursday afternoon.
The team hosted round one and lost in three straight sets to the Lions of Peachtree Ridge (25-14, 25-19, 25-20).However, Lady Tiger coach Readie Kelly said she is proud of the team’s accomplishments after they finished the regular season ranked high enough to host the first round at home. She said considering Bradwell had only two seniors and a slew of new players she was impressed with the level of talent her squad was able to develop over the course of the season.
"At least we made it," she said about hosting the playoffs. "You know you had to beat somebody to get here. And we’ve played well all year long and we played well tonight."
Kelly introduced volleyball to the Liberty County school system in the early 1990s.
"And this is the first time Bradwell has hosted the first round of the playoff," she said. "Naturally the girls came out with a belly full of nerves. But they played the Lions well and gave them a good game."
Knowing most of her players will return for next season Kelly said she talked to the girls about the importance of staying active in volleyball during the off season and encouraged the girls to join a summer league.
The coach said she hates the thought of losing seniors Camille Jackson and Tyreesha Evans but said she is speaking with college coaches to see if she can help them play at the next level. Both girls are hoping to go to Georgia State near Atlanta.
"I’m working on the athletic portion and they are keeping up with the academic portion," Kelly said. "I can’t take anything away from my girls, I’m very proud of them."