The Dawson County Lady Tigers volleyball team opened regional play on their home court Tuesday, Sept. 11 with a double-header sweep of the Fannin County Rebels and the East Hall Vikings.
The first match of the night proved to be the toughest as the Rebels came out and challenged the Lady Tigers point for point to win the first set 25–22.
Led by an outstanding performance from junior Roxie Fricton (who amassed 27 kills, four aces, and led the team in digs over the course of the night), Dawson County fought back to win the final two sets by the thin margins of 25–23 and 25–21 to secure the match victory.
“Super proud of the team that showed up tonight versus Fannin County,” said Head Coach Tanya Porter. “The girls refused to lose.”
The East Hall Vikings fared no better in the second match of the night as the Lady Tigers continued to build on their momentum and rushed to a two-set win with scores of 25–12 and 25–20.
“Nice way to start our region play,” Porter said. “Opening 2–0 puts us in a great position to finish as a top seed for the tournament.”
Traveling to Habersham County on Thursday, Sept. 13, the Lady Tigers continued to wrap up non-regional game with matches versus the Raiders of Habersham and, in their first-ever match-up, the Athens Christian Eagles.
Alexandra Shalikashvili of the Raiders proved to be the difference maker in a tough first set as the Lady Tigers saw their early lead disappear behind her furious onslaught, and Habersham County stole a heart-breaking victory by the score of 28–26. Flush with victory, the Raiders went on to pummel the Tigers in the second set 25–8 to take the match by a score of 2–0.
“Momentum is a funny thing,” Porter said. “It is hard to get it back when it goes away and what happened in the second set is a direct result of how the first one ended.”
The team prepared to recapture the momentum versus the Eagles in their match against the girls from Athens Christian. Not knowing what to expect, the Lady Tigers started slow, but after a strong service from junior Chloe Bennett the team’s offense reignited and Dawson County quickly took the first set 25–15.
Set two proved a bit more difficult as the Eagles put up a tough fight, at one point taking the lead and threatening to take the set, but the Lady Tigers pulled through to win the set 25-19 and the match by a score of 2–0.