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VOLLEYBALL: Lady Tigers hit hot streak, finish second at Coal Mountain Classic
Abby Felkai prepares for a kill in Tuesday’s match against Gilmer County. - photo by Rio White

It’s been a busy past week for the Dawson County volleyball team, who played a dozen times in that span and have won 13 of its last 15 matches.

Head coach Tanya Porter’s squad capped off a whirlwind week with a pair of region wins against Gilmer County and Lumpkin County on Tuesday, Aug. 30, improving their overall record to 16-5.

“They have rallied around each other for the cause of us winning,” Porter said. “That’s been at the forefront of their minds and it has made all the difference in the world.”

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Before Tuesday, the Lady Tigers played a total of six matches in the Coal Mountain Classic on Saturday, Aug. 27, winning against a variety of opponents before falling short in the final against class 6A powerhouse North Forsyth.

In that tournament, Dawson defeated 6A teams Grovetown and Creekview before winning a three-set thriller against 7A West Forsyth. 

After staving off region foes Lumpkin and White County, the Lady Tigers fell to host team North Forsyth, who was a state semifinalist last season. 

Prior to the Coal Mountain Classic, Dawson had won three of four matches during the week. 

All told, half of the dozen matches played were against teams in higher classifications — all part of Porter’s plan of having her team perform at their best.

“We are competing at high levels against very good competition,” Porter said. “I’m proud of how well we are responding.”

The team’s high level of communication has given them versatility, with Abby Felkai and Megan Roche collecting points and Abby Clouser and Kirklyn Porter helping set up those kills. 

The matches against Gilmer and Lumpkin showed the team’s consistency — regardless of substitutions during the game.

The team celebrates after winning a crucial point against Lumpkin County. - photo by Rio White

Dawson got out to a quick lead against Gilmer, taking the first set 25-7. Players such as Maggie Allen and Eva Bishop also helped contribute to that success as the team won the second set 25-13 to sweep the match.

Against Lumpkin, the Lady Tigers faced a stiffer challenge but continued to display their teamwork, winning 25-12, 25-19. 

The close second set showed the team’s focus during a comeback attempt by Lumpkin, with Dawson’s players increasing their volume with each point.

“They did a really good job of paying attention to the game and executing the gameplan,” Porter said. “So far, we are matching up really well with even the best teams in our region. It’s exciting and gives us something to look forward to come postseason.”

In addition to their 16-5 overall record, the Lady Tigers are currently undefeated in region play at 6-0. The team will take a short break before playing a pair of matches on Thursday, Sept. 8, against White County and Gilmer.