What had the making of a long night Tuesday, Aug. 31 for the Lady Tigers volleyball team turned into a great night.
After being down 19-10 against White County in the second match of their first region game of the season, head coach Tanya Porter called a timeout after watching a “sloppy” one and a half matches of volleyball for her team.
“I had intentions to say a lot during that time out, but then I got there and it just didn’t feel right,” Porter said after the game. “I could tell they knew. They knew we were playing to our capability.”
Coming out of that timeout, the Lady Tigers still lost 25-19, but ended that match outsourcing White County 9-6. For the rest of the game, there was a change throughout Dawson County’s style of play: more organized and more confident with every hit to their teammates.
White County lost against North Hall in their second match, but the Lady Trojans would not go undefeated on the night, as the Lady Tigers swept them in the first two sets for their first region win of the year. The win felt special in the gym, but Porter said it is even more special for the team.
“I don’t know that you do know how special that one is,” Porter said. “That win is sweet. North Hall is a top program in our region year after year. That makes it twice that we’ve beat them since we started the program and that time was sweeter than the first I think. I’m super excited.”
Junior Abby Felkai had a monstrous game for the Lady Tigers. At the end of the two games, she led the team in kills (15), assists (14) and aces (3). Though she is a transfer from Canada, she said after the game that her team has fantastic chemistry and knows how to communicate with one another on and off the court.
“We really got it together and realized we need to play,” Felkai said. “We can’t play if we’re not playing together.”
Match one was back-and-forth between the two teams. Dawson County took a 17-16 lead and held momentum through the rest of the night, winning 25-23 and taking a dominating 21-12 lead into match two.
Off a North Hall time out, the Lady Trojans surged back, but lost match two 25-21, losing their first region match of the year. Junior Jessie Mann added eight kills and sophomore Meghan Roche added seven kills in an explosive offensive night for the Lady Tigers.
“It’s huge to the other teams that we haven’t played in the region yet,” Porter said. “Yeah, we did not play well against White County and we lost, but we are capable of coming back. We can be down, but we are never out. Adversity is going to be huge for us coming down the stretch. To be able to battle back and not be down and out is a big, big thing.”
The Lady Tigers (10-6, 1-1 in Region 7-3A) will not play another region game until Tuesday, Sept. 14 when they play Cherokee Bluff and East Forsyth at East Forsyth. However, the team will stay sharp with two non-region games: one at Habersham Central on Thursday, Sept. 2 and another at Jefferson High School on Thursday, Sept. 9.