Three seniors help Lady Hawks to 4-1 start in district play (w/video)

The Lady Hawks volleyball team is off to a strong start with a 4-1 record in District 12-2A.

The most recent victory came Tuesday night (Aug. 29) with a three-set home win against McNairy. Scores were 25-20, 25-23, 25-13.

The Lady Hawks also have district wins over Liberty, Hardin County and Scotts Hill. The lone district loss was at Lexington on Aug. 25.

Much of the early success is due to the leadership of seniors Kimora Currie, AliKate McDonald and J’Lynn Paige.

In last night’s win over McNairy, Currie had two aces, 14 kills, one block and seven digs. McDonald had four aces, an assist and eight digs. Paige had 25 assists and four digs.

In addition to the district wins, the Lady Hawks have a non-district win against Trenton Peabody. They also finished runner-up in the silver division of a tournament at Freed-Hardeman earlier this month.

The three seniors recently spoke with Hawk TV and shared their goals for the season.

Currie said the goal is to advance to the state tournament.

“We’re going to try,” she said. “Our heart is to go.”

Paige said it would be nice to advance past the region tournament.

“Last year our region was pretty difficult,” she said. “We had to play Dyer County, and that was probably one of the hardest-working games we’ve ever played.”

Added McDonald: “I just want to beat Lexington.”

Led by head coach Kimberly McNeal, the Lady Hawks go on the road for their next three matches: Aug. 31 at Chester County, Sept. 5 at North Side and Sept. 7 at McNairy. The next home match – and it’s a big one! – is Sept. 12 against Lexington.

Hear more of what the seniors had to say in the video posted above.

[COVER PHOTO: Lady Hawk senior volleyball players (from left) AliKate McDonald, J’Lynn Paige and Kimora Currie pose for a group photo during the team’s media day earlier this month. (Photo by Lisa Webb)]

RUNNER-UP: Lady Hawks fall in district final, advance to region tourney

The Lady Hawks finished runner-up Thursday in the District 13-AA volleyball tournament, losing the championship match at Lexington in three sets.

South Side advances to the Region 7 tournament and plays at Dyer County on Monday.

“I’m proud of the girls for their fight tonight. It was a battle the whole time,” South Side coach Kimberly McNeal said after Lexington won 25-20, 25-19, 25-20. “Parents from Lexington came and told us what great competition we were.”

Named to the all-district team for their play throughout the regular season were seniors Alyssa Clifft and Abigail Matthews and junior Kimora Currie. Matthews joined junior J’Lynn Paige on the all-tournament team.

The Lady Hawks opened the tournament Monday with a three-set win over Bolivar and beat McNairy in three sets in Tuesday’s semifinal match.

“No one thought we would make it this far, so I’m completely proud of this team,” McNeal said. “Of course, we all wanted to come out as a winner, but we came up short. That doesn’t take away from what we worked for and through.”

Match time for Monday’s elimination contest at Dyer County is to be determined. South Side is 0-1 this season against Dyer County.

“They are a very good team,” McNeal said. “We will have to come physically and mentally ready to work.”


MATCH DAY! Lady Hawks to play for district championship

The Lady Hawks play at Lexington today for the District 13-AA volleyball tournament championship. Match time is 5 p.m. 

“We have reiterated in practice this week that there is no doubt in our minds that each girl wants to win,” South Side coach Kimberly McNeal said this morning, “but translating that into the game looks different. It’s about doing the small things correctly.” 

The Lady Hawks advanced to today’s championship match with a pair of three-set wins earlier this week. They beat Bolivar in Monday’s quarterfinal and McNairy in Tuesday’s semifinal. Now, it’s on to Lexington. 

“Lexington is a great team, but so are we,” McNeal said. “It will be a challenge tonight, but the girls are up for it. These girls have been playing like we knew they could all year. It’s a mindset that they have been working hard on.” 


Alyssa Clifft – 3 aces, 10 kills, 6 digs

Abigail Matthews – 1 ace, 9 kills

Sarah Watson – 4 aces 8 digs

J’Lynn Paige – 4 aces, 3 kills, 24 assists, 1 dig

Kimora Currie – 4 kills 2 digs, 1 block

Callie Ramsey – 2 kills, 3 digs

AliKate McDonald – 1 ace, 7 digs

Lizzy Vales –1 ace, 2 digs

Christiana Carter – 1 ace, 4 digs

Aydison Dilworth – 1 kill, 1 block


Christiana Carter – 1 ace, 8 digs

AliKate McDonald – 2 aces, 11 digs

Sarah Watson – 1 ace, 1 kill, 12 digs

Alyssa Clifft – 2 aces 6 kills, 12 digs

Callie Ramsey – 2 kills, 4 digs 

Kimora Currie – 7 kills, 3 digs, 2 blocks

Abigail Matthews – 3 aces, 11 kills, 4 digs, 1 block

Aydison Dilworth – 3 kills, 1 dig, 2 blocks

J’Lynn Paige – 1 kill, 26 assists, 5 digs

COVER PHOTO: The Lady Hawks huddle for a quick conference during Monday’s quarterfinal win against Bolivar in the District 13-AA volleyball tournament at Lexington High School. (Photo by Kristi Watson)


Senior Spotlight: CALLIE RAMSEY

Callie Ramsey is a senior outside hitter for the Lady Hawks.

How long have you played volleyball? 

I started playing volleyball my sophomore year of high school. 

What’s your goal for this year? 

My goal for this year is to not get in my head when I make a mistake. 

What do you plan on doing to reach this goal?

Make less mistakes and work harder. 

How do you want your teammates to remember you? 

I want my teammates to remember me as a passionate and hardworking player. 

What, if any, superstitions do you have before a game? 

My superstitions are using a red and white ball to warm up and I listen to the same song before every game. 


Lady Hawks win volleyball season opener in five sets

South Side won its volleyball season opener Monday with a five-set victory against visiting Ripley.

The Lady Hawks won the first set 25-12 but lost the second and third sets (25-27, 22-25). They rallied in the fourth set for a 25-7 win and finished it off in the fifth set, 15-12.

“I was really impressed that we were able to come back,” head coach Kimberly McNeal told Hawk TV. “Last year as we were down, it was hard for them to come back as a team. They’ve really worked on themselves coming together and finishing games. It’s something we’ve been focusing on at practice.”

Abigail Matthews had six aces, two digs, nine kills and two blocks for South Side (1-0 overall). Alyssa Clifft had two aces, seven digs, 10 kills and a block.

The Lady Hawks begin District 13-AA play Tuesday at Bolivar.

Individual stats against Ripley:

Sarah Watson – 8 aces, 3 digs

Allie Kate McDonald – 4 digs

Kimora Currie – 8 kills, 1 block

Christiana Carter – 1 ace, 3 digs

Elizabeth Vales – 1 ace, 3 digs

Callie Ramsey – 2 kills, 2 blocks

JLynn Paige ­– 1 ace, 1 kill, 32 assists

Aydison Dilworth – 3 kills, 4 blocks

[COVER PHOTO – Lady Hawks coach Kimberly McNeal talks to her team during Monday’s five-set win over visiting Ripley in the season opener at South Side.]


Senior Spotlight: SARAH WATSON

Sarah Watson is a senior libero/setter for the Lady Hawks volleyball team.

How long have you played volleyball?

Seven years

What’s your goal for this year?

Give 110 percent for every game, also staying up with my teammates. 

What do you plan on doing to reach this goal?

To be able to look back at this year and think to myself… I regret nothing. 

How do you want your teammates to remember you?

I want my teammates to remember me as the player who will dive on the floor no matter what, also that teammate who picked everyone up and that teammate who was the hype girl!! 

What, if any, superstitions do you have before a game?

Listening to a certain song, hair has to be in some type of braid, and eating a Reese’s!


Anderson, Currie named athletes of the month for September

Sophomore Kimora Currie and senior Cam Anderson were recently recognized as South Side’s athletes of the month for September. The awards were presented by State Farm.

Currie, a three-sport athlete for the Hawks, was recognized for her play on the volleyball court. In September, she had 50 kills, 19 blocks and one assist. She was a competitor on the court and, when on the bench, always encouraged her teammates. She was a team player.

Currie also plays softball and basketball for the Lady Hawks. This was just her second season playing volleyball. She soaked in everything she was told. She was a difference-maker at the net with her ability to hang in the air, as well as learning how to place the ball.

“I worked very hard during the season to try and show people that just because of your grade, even if you are an underclassman, it doesn’t mean you can’t be a beast and beat people that are older than you,” Currie told Hawk Nation.


State Farm recently recognized sophomore volleyball player Kimora Currie as South Side’s female athlete of the month for September.

Anderson, meanwhile, is a team captain on the football team and also plays basketball for the Hawks. He plays wide receiver, defensive back and safety. In September, he had 330 yards on 18 catches for five touchdowns. Defensively, he had an interception and a touchdown. He was named the 101.5 FM/ football player of the week for September 20.

Anderson is a two-way starter who never disappoints. He leads the team with big plays and amazes the crowd with his leaping ability, grace and finesse. He’s a hard worker who shows maturity in handling challenges as they arise. He plans to continue playing football in college but is undecided on where that will be.

“I was honored to receive the award, but I still have a lot of work to do,” Anderson told Hawk Nation. “This is just the beginning. We’ve got a big game Friday at North Side, and we want to win the Commissioner’s Cup. I have to stay humble at all times, but I’m thankful for the award. I think I’ve earned it.”

State Farm recently recognized senior football player Cam Anderson as South Side’s male athlete of the month for September.



VB: District tourney starts today at McNairy

School is closed today – out all week, in fact, for Fall Break.

There’s no rest today, though, for South Side’s volleyball team as the Lady Hawks open play in the District 13-AA tournament at McNairy Central.

South Side plays Hardin County at 6 p.m. Bolivar plays McNairy at 7 p.m.

The South Side/Hardin County winner advances to play Tuesday at Lexington. The Bolivar/McNairy winner advances to play at Chester County.

“It’s game day,” South Side coach Kimberly McNeal said. “They are prepared to win. The girls know what they need to do. They are ready for this moment. Every girl knows they play an important role, and to be ready if their number is called upon. I’m ready to watch them work.”

The Lady Hawks enter the district tournament coming off a three-set home win against Bolivar on Sept. 28 to close out the regular season.


Lady Hawks end regular season with a win

South Side ended the regular season Wednesday night with a win at Bolivar.

The Lady Hawks won in three sets: 25-19, 25-17, 25-15.

The District 13-AA tournament starts Monday at McNairy.

“I’m excited to see them play in the district tournament,” South Side coach Kimberly McNeal said. “All season we have competed with close games. I’m hoping they can come together for each other and play strong together to prove to themselves what they are capable of. At this point it’s all about who wants it more. What team plays better, who can make the least mistakes. If they settle down and do the small things right, I think they can face any team.”


Bre Ramsey: 8 aces

Abigail Matthews: 7 kills

Kimora Currie: 1 assist, 13 kills, 1 block

Camden Roberson: 2 kills, 1 block

Alyssa Clifft: 11 kills

Pyper Warren: 3 digs, 2 aces

Camryn Burkhead: 3 digs

J’Lynn Paige: 31 assists, 1 ace

Camoni Turner: 2 kills

ALUM: Ashlynne Clifft leads Freed-Hardeman to big conference win

Lady Hawk alum Ashlynne Clifft recorded nine kills and a .467 hitting percentage Saturday in Freed-Hardeman’s three-set home volleyball win against Williams Baptist.

The 2019 South Side graduate added two aces and two digs in the 25-17, 25-10, 25-15 win.

“Ashlynne had a super day today and over the last few weeks,” Freed-Hardeman coach Todd Humphry told Hawk Nation. “She led the team in blocks last night against rival Bethel and was the leading kills player today against Williams Baptist.”

A 5-foot-9 junior, Clifft is majoring in psychology with a minor in social work with an eye on working as a trauma and crisis counselor.

Humphry said he’s impressed with Clifft’s progression as a college player.

“She seems to get better each season, even when she is playing a different position than she did at South Side,” he said. “She is a tremendous athletic player with a team first attitude.”

At Freed-Hardeman, Clifft has played middle hitter and right side hitter. She was an outside hitter at South Side.

A good one, too.

Her coach at South Side, Tommy Dean, said in 2018 that Clifft was one of the best hitters to ever play for the Lady Hawks. She helped the team advance to state in all four of her high school seasons and was selected first team All-West Tennessee in her junior and senior years.

As a senior, Clifft was named District 13-AA player of the year, District 13-AA tournament most valuable player and Region 7-AA tournament most valuable player.

NOW AND THEN — 2021: Ashlynne Clifft’s official portrait for the Freed-Hardeman University volleyball team. 2018: Clifft and her mother, Amy, pose for a photo as Ashlynne holds awards for District 13-AA player of the year and District 13-AA tournament most valuable player.

In a post-game interview on today’s live streamed broadcast, the commentator pointed out that Clifft is now teammates with some of her biggest high school rivals: Bryce Morris and Allie Humphry from Chester County and Ivey Robinson from Lexington.

“How is it that you are able to come in and gel together. What is it about that relationship that makes it special to play together in college?” the commentator asked.

“We all played club ball together in the off-season from high school,” Clifft said. “We were all on the same team then, and we all kind of grew up together, going to the camps. And then we live together. We’re all roommates, too. Every last one of us. We’re all in the same room. It’s just like sisters. We all just jive well.”

Freed-Hardeman is 6-8 overall and 1-5 in the Mid-South Conference. Remaining home matches this year include Lindsey Wilson (Sept. 28), Life (Oct. 16), Tennessee Southern (Oct. 19), Bethel (Oct. 21), Central Baptist (Oct. 23), Georgetown (Nov. 4) and Campbellsville (Nov. 6).

(Lead photo credit: Freed-Hardeman University athletics department)