GUYTON — A week after hosting a baby shower for their head coach, Effingham County’s volleyball team gave her another gift — and it was a big one.
The Lady Rebels swept a pair of Thursday matches, including one against rival South Effingham, to improve to 5-1 in Region 2-AAAAAA.
“We’ve just been giving it more, like more effort and more energy,” Effingham County head coach Brittany Lein said.
The visiting Lady Rebels, led by seniors Sara Lindsay, Sara Bevill and Kinley Tucker, beat South Effingham in two 25-19 sets Thursday. They fell to the Lady Mustangs 25-8, 27-29 and 11-15 in the previous meeting Aug. 27, a lackluster result that drew Lein’s ire.
“We’ve really pushed at practice that you’ve got to give 110 percent,” Lein said. “You have to be upset when you are not giving it your all. We’ve worked a lot on different skills and different areas at practice, different things that we didn’t have fine tuned and didn’t have before.
“We worked a lot on finishing games, which is something that we really struggled with at the beginning of the season.”
Lein, whose squad topped Brunswick earlier, coached against the wishes of her husband and mother because of high blood pressure related to her pregnancy.
“I may need to go to the hospital tonight,” she said, only partially joking.
Determined to lead her team against South Effingham, Lein was pleased with the result.
““I’ve got this (victory). I can go out any time now,” she said.
Lein gave birth to a healthy girl, Hadley, the following morning. The baby was delivered by cesarean section.
South Effingham head coach Chancey Garrett lamented the Lady Mustangs’ “tough loss.” They dropped to 1-3 in region matches after falling to the Lady Rebels.
Earlier Thursday, South Effingham beat Brunswick 25-21, 25-27, 15-9.
“I was really hoping we would have won tonight because we beat Effingham County on their Senior Night and that would have secured third seed for us as long as we could beat Glynn (Academy) and Bradwell (Institute),” Garrett said, “but it didn’t work out that way, unfortunately.”