There is no other way to say it. The Dawson County Lady Tigers volleyball team is on fire.
After winning all three of their games in straight sets to open the season Monday, Aug. 9, the Lady Tigers shocked the 6-A Lanier Longhorns in the third set and then quickly followed with a demolition of Rabun Co. for their fifth win in a row to start the season.
“We’ve had a couple tough practices, but everyone seems to have bought in nicely,” Lady Tigers head coach Tanya Porter said after the game. “I like where we’re headed. I never like to jinx ourselves, but I knew we could be really good. It’s really special for our girls because we’re already over halfway of our total wins last year.”
Junior Abby “Canada” Felkai had a huge game on Thursday. She led the team in aces, or points scored off of a serve, with nine and kills, or points, with 15. Junior Jessie Mann and sophomore Meghan Roche, who were both a part of the team last year that finished sixth in Region 7-3A, both contributed tremendously on offense, leading the team in kills against Rabun County.
“It feels really good,” Mann said after the game. “We’re building each other up after every play, even if we’re getting into each other’s heads. We bring each other out of it and play together. Especially tonight. We had a rough time taking Lanier down, but we finally took it in the third set and got the win.”
The Lady Tigers took a quick 10-6 lead against Lanier in game one. Junior Abby Clouser came out of the first whistle with five assists through the first 10 points. Lanier could never catch Dawson, with the Lady Tigers taking game one 25-21.
Game two was back and forth the entire way through. With the game tied at 13, the Longhorns went on a 5-0 run to take an 18-13 lead into a timeout called by Porter. The Lady Tigers tied the game up at 19 off of the timeout, but Lanier pulled the game together, winning game two 25-21.
Felkai started game three with the ball in her hands and the team put together five points fast, with Felkai recording two aces in the stretch. The 5-0 deficit was too much for the Longhorns to overcome, with the Lady Tigers taking the third and final set 15-9.
“All of this helps with confidence on the court because it shows that we believe in each other,” Mann said. “It gives us that extra strength to keep going when we get down.”
Rabun County gave the Lady Tigers their most lopsided wins of the year, taking game one 25-9 and game two 25-8.
The 5-0 start for the Lady Tigers ties the best start ever to a season since volleyball became a sport offered at the high school in 2016. A win in their next match would be the best start in school history.
The Lady Tigers will look to make history at home on Tuesday, Aug. 17 against Commerce High School (0-2). Afterwards, they will play Chestatee (4-0).