As the regular season draws to a close this week, the Dawson County varsity volleyball team was able to split in both of its tri-matches last week getting wins over Chestatee and Cedar Shoals.
The Lady Tigers hosted North Hall and Chestatee on Sept. 19 for senior night and earned a win over the War Eagles (25-19, 18-25, 25-16) after losing to them twice earlier in the season and lost in two to the Trojans.
“I was very proud after a sound loss to North Hall (5-25, 14-25), they came out much better in the second match,” said Coach Tanya Porter. “They got re-focused and ready to play.”
Dawson was unable to really get their footing against a now 34-7 North Hall team that will most likely be an easy one or two seed come time for tournament play next week.
“So North Hall is good,” Porter said. “I wasn’t surprised. I won’t even attempt to make any excuses about why we couldn’t win against them. We got down a littlest in the first set. We just couldn’t turn the ship around until it was way too late. They are an excellent program.”
In the second set, the Lady Tigers were able to gain a little traction with early kills from Amber Fite and Chloe Bennett. Harmony Evans added another line shot for a kill as well.
Dawson went up 10-9 before the Lady Trojans regrouped and dominated down the stretch.
“Not only are they very skilled they are very experienced too,” Porter said about the program with seven seniors on the varsity roster.
In the break between matches, Dawson honored its own seniors: Savannah Kennedy, Brittany Sayler, Kati Brady, Jill Westcott and Fite.
The Lady Tigers knew what they were facing heading into the second match with Chestatee.
Fite had a strong first set including a six serve run with three aces and a kill from the back row.
“I thought Amber played well against Chestatee….Chestatee has a really good back row. They are hard to hit against. They cover their holes pretty well,” Porter said. “I was pleased to win.”
Early service errors hurt Dawson at the start of the second set and the offense struggled up front.
The third game against Chestatee started with another Fite kill and solid serves from Brady.
Roxie Fricton and Fite worked at the net including a kill from FIte that painted the outside line on a cross court shot.
The score stayed close and an Evans roll shot prompted a War Eagles time out.
Bennett picked up a fingertip block out of the break. Five plays later, a Fricton block helped continue momentum for the Lady Tigers on the way to the win.
On Sept. 21, Dawson County traveled to West Hall and lost to the Lady Spartans in two sets (11-25, 22-25) before winning in two over Cedar Shoals (25-14, 25-17).
“It was a good night in that we picked up a win,” Porter said.
Fite, who transferred from West Hall, was recognized with the other Dawson seniors during the Spartans’ senior night.
“It was nice because they recognized her. They gave her a little bit something extra—good for her too,” Porter said.
“We struggled passing, especially in first match against West Hall. It all starts there. You can’t get at least a decent pass off, you are going to struggle,” she said.
In the second set of the night, Bennett served seven straight for the Lady Tigers despite an injury earlier in the week.
Dawson went up by as many as six, but was unable to finish out as they lost in two.
The Lady Tigers struggled very little against an improved Cedar Shoals team.
“Brittany served well for us both sets against Cedar Shoals,” Porter said. “She had 10 straight points.
“Overall I thought the most solid player last night was Harmony (Evans) which is great to see because she is young. She played very well, to just her hitting, several good passes, good on her coverage.”
On Sept. 26, Dawson faced Lumpkin County and Union in Dahlonga, but results were unavailable as of press time. Tonight the Lady Tigers will close regular season play when they host Greater Atlanta Christian for a makeup match at 5 p.m. at home.
Region tournament play begin next week on Oct. 3. Seeding for the tournament has not yet been released, but Dawson will play on Tuesday and again Oct. 5 if they win.
A win would not only advance the Lady Tigers in the tournament, it would qualify them for the state tournament.
“I hope we are playing Thursday night,” Porter said.
The junior varsity volleyball team moved to 6-14 last week after winning both of their matches on Sept. 21.
The JV Lady Tigers won in three sets over West Hall: 25-18, 21-25, 25-20. The team defeated Cedar Shoals in two sets: 25-9 and 25-14.
They will wrap up their season this week.
The Lady Tigers faced Lumpkin and Union yesterday, but results were not available as of press time. They will host Greater Atlanta Christian at 5 p.m. today.