The Ackerman High School volleyball team has played tough competition all season long.
Their schedule has set the Lady Indians up to be used to the type of teams they will play in the playoffs.
Ackerman (9-8) opens the playoffs at home today against Tishomingo County with the match scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
"It helps to play bigger teams, but it gives us experience," Ackerman head coach Jamie Huffman said. "That will help us in the playoffs because we are not going to be (afraid of) playing a bigger team. We did it all season."
This is Huffman's first year in charge. She has spent the last several years in Memphis, Tenn., and in Missouri.
She has gotten a lot of help from the Pontotoc coach and has gotten a lot of information on the Lady Braves.
"They are very good at serving," Huffman said. "Our service game needs to be pretty much on the ball."
Although Ackerman has to win to advance to the next round, it already knows what awaits them.
Lewisburg gets a first round bye, and a win for the Lady Indians means a match with one of the best squads in the state.
"The bad thing is if we win (today), we will face Lewisburg on Thursday," Huffman said. "That is the cream of the crop and that's the best of the best. They know that Lewisburg is a tough team, but we are really focused on (today), getting past Tishomingo County and winning that one. We are taking it step by step."
Huffman has seen a lot of growth in the Ackerman program since she has taken over. Getting to the playoffs in her first season is something she and her team find exciting.
"I am very excited," Huffman said. "I can only do so much and then it's going to have to be the girls who actually do it. We have come so far. We have made leaps and bounds for the program. I am very, very
happy that they bought into what I'm trying to teach them. That is what you really have to have in a successful program."
If Huffman and the Lady Indians are going to get to be a first rate program, winning in the playoffs is where to start.
"We are only a 2A school and it's tough going against these bigger teams," Huffman said. "I want to compete. The girls feel the same way. We are going to go into it head-first and hope for the best."