The Dawson County varsity volleyball program ended with an even week, so to speak, when the team split during both of its tri-match outings last week.
On Aug. 15 Dawson County varsity volleyball hosted another tri-match and played the Union County Lady Panthers and Stephens County Lady Indians.
Union County is in the same position that the Dawson County program was last year as they tackle their first ever varsity season of volleyball.
The Lady Tigers easily handled the Lady Panthers and won the first set 25-8 and the second 25-7.
Dawson’s serving overwhelmed the group with Chloe Bennett picking up nine points in a row including eight aces. Kati Brady served an ace for match point.
Stephens County also moved past Union in two sets for the second match of the night, picking up 25-7 and 25-9 wins.
The Dawson versus Stephens matchup proved to be a much tighter contest with Stephen edging the Lady Tigers in set one 25-23.
“ We should have beat Stephens too,” said Coach Tanya Porter.
“Either we are flat or we are so high and they can’t find that happy medium. Both extremes are dangerous because we make mistakes when we are up here just from being so keyed up and we make mistakes down here when we get flat.
“We haven’t been able to find that middle ground of energy, positive energy, but not so stoked where we make crazy mental errors,”
There were a combined 46 errors in the Stephens County match—a majority of the Lady Indians scoring was the result.
Roxie Fricton put down three kills in a row from the middle as Dawson took a 5-1 lead.
Bennett picked up a block and the Lady Indians scrambled to get the return and Bennett promptly picked up the kill. Stephens took a timeout to regroup and that seemed to be a turning point.
Out of the break, Stephens scored and then went on a run following multiple aces from the service line before a Lady Tiger timeout. From there, it was a back and forth battle.
The Lady Indians relied heavily on dinks and short shots to keep Dawson off guard.
In set two, the teams picked up again exchanging points before Stephens picked up a big block and the serve where they were able to generate three aces and prompt a Dawson time.
Bennett, Fite and Fricton went to work at the net each with kills. The Friction hit came on an overpass and the point appeared to unnerve the Stephens Coach Michael Thomas who let his team know what he thought.
The Lady Indians picked up the pace and were able to finish out with a 25-16 win.
On Aug. 17, the Lady Tigers traveled to Chestatee for a tri-match with the War Eagles and Lumpkin County.
“We should have beat Chestatee,” Porter said. “They were much better than they were last year, but we still could have beat them, should have beat them.”
Dawson lost in two sets, 25-20 and 30-28.
“It was a battle,” said Coach Tanya Porter. “I mean it was game point. We actually got to 25 first. It was 25-24 and then it went back and forth all the way up to 30.”
In the match with Lumpkin County, Dawson went three sets but were able to get the win.
“The first one was 25-22 Lumpkin, then we beat them 25-14 and 25-20,” said Porter.
“Several times we had the upper hand in both matches and be up by 5-6 and let them creep back into it.”
Porter again pointed to errors, this time primarily hitting errors in the Chestatee match.
“We cleaned it up a little bit better against Lumpkin County,” Porter said.
Brady, who currently leads the team in digs with over 40 on the season, was everywhere on the court according to Porter.
The week takes the Lady Tigers to 6-5 overall.
On Tuesday Dawson hosted Habersham Central and White County but results were unavailable as of press time. The Lady Tigers will travel to Rabun County High School for 5 and 6 p.m. matches against Rabun County and Rabun Gap on Aug. 24.