Serves power Seymour
Mendy Maxwell’s always a threat at the net.
Turns out she’s dangerous on the back line, too.
The Seymour star ripped off runs of 10 and seven points with a nasty jump serve on Monday in the first round of the District 2-AAA tournament, helping the top-seeded Eagles cruise past Cherokee, 25-7, 25-13, 25-7.
“I do a jump serve. Sometimes it throws the other team off just because it’s something different instead of just standing there and serving it,” Maxwell said. “Some nights I have really good serving nights and other night I just get a few.”
Monday was the former, with the Chiefs struggling to handle what Maxwell was throwing at them. She finished with nine kills and four service aces to go along with those two big service games. That allowed the Eagles to build the big cushions they needed to roll into the tournament’s double-elimination rounds, which began at South-Doyle on Tuesday.
Seymour coach Erin Biddle said she drills her team on serving every day. Along with Maxwell’s jump serve, Lauren Johnson can hit spots and libero Breanna Green is strong behind the line as well.
“Serving is so important,” Biddle said. “If you make your serves, you’re going to win games. If you start missing serves and giving the team points, you’re just giving the game away. It’s so important to have a very strong serve.”
Maxwell, now a senior, said she’s been developing her jump serve since middle school. Back then, she had so much power in her standing serve that it flew long. With the jump serve, she can harness that power and still drop the ball on the court.
“It was really hard to begin with,” Maxwell said. “You have to work on the footwork, the timing, and your toss and everything. It’s really hard but once you get it, it’s really easy.”
And really dangerous for opponents. Biddle said Maxwell has become one of the Eagles’ more complete players, with her prowess at the net, strong defense on the back line and her jump serve. Those serves will need to be on if Seymour hopes to follow-up a banner regular season with a district tournament crown.
“(Serving) is going to be a big part of how good we play,” Johnson said. “And how good we finish if we want to win.”