Putting it all on the line, the Dawson County Volleyball team finished out regional play with a clean sweep of the Cherokee Bluff Bears and the Lumpkin County Indians on Oct. 2.
The victories firmly secured a second place finish for the Lady Tigers and ensured a first-round bye in the upcoming regional tournament.
The Cherokee Bluff Bears entered the night seeking their first regional win and looked tough and determined in that pursuit. From the opening serve, Bears junior Madi Phillips dominated the net and drove back every attempt to score by the Lady Tigers resulting in a first set 25–20 win by the underdog Bears.
Plagued by communication errors and the lack of a clear leader on the floor, the Lady Tigers opened the second set by quickly falling 8 points behind the Bears. It looked like an upset was in the works until junior Roxie Fricton killed 4 straight points. Her passion ignited the team and they entered cruise control to win the second set by a score of 25–11.
In the final set, the Bears came out strong, once again led by dominating net play from Phillips, and pushed the Tigers into the equivalent of volleyball overtime as the score remained tied when both teams reached 25 points. A controversial double-touch call that brought the Bears coach off the bench to discuss the matter with the referee gave the game point to the Tigers, allowing them to close the match with a two set to one victory.
The Lady Tigers entered the match with the Lumpkin County Indians knowing that they needed a win to secure the second seed and a first-round bye for the upcoming regional tournament, and they came through with a quick 2–0 win.
“I thought our girls showed up ready to play and their performance was an excellent display of that preparation,” said Coach Tanya Porter. “The wins sealed our second place finish in the region regular season play and guaranteed us a second seed going into the tournament, which also gives us a bye for the first round.”
Having finished the season undefeated in regional play, the North Hall Trojans will host the regional tournament on Thursday, Oct. 11. The Lady Tigers will face the winner of the day’s first game between the East Hall Vikings and the Cherokee Bluff Bears.