“It was an exciting night.”
So summed Veterans Head Coach Marlene Rogers of the 2017 Houston County Volleyball Championship, adding “as is every county championship.”
The last six – including Tuesday’s – have one thing in common: The Lady Warhawks as champions.
While Houston County was beating Perry in one semifinal (25-18, 25-9), Veterans was busy getting the edge over Warner Robins in the other. It won the first 25-22 but got nipped by the Demonettes 26-24 in the second.
The third … well, from Warner Robins Head Coach Cassie Bennett’s perspective … “I don’t really know what to say about this match. Other than we self-destructed in the last set. It was a pretty even match, up for either team to win … until the last set.”
The Lady Warhawks won it 25-14. If there was a difference, Bennett said, it was that, “Veterans has learned how to capitalize on other teams’ mistakes. My girls are just now figuring out how to do that.
“We had an opportunity in the first set and let it slip through our fingers but Veterans did a good job of making runs when they needed it in the third set.”
Bennett also added a shout out to Shani Kelley. She, Bennett said, learned to play “middle” the “day before” because one of their middles sprained her ankle. “She definitely held her own and made some great plays.”
Anna Slaughter also helped lead the squad. She finished with a pair of aces and four kills. Also, Kayla Luke had an ace and four kills and Parker Hogan two aces and a kill.
For Veterans, Alasha Heard led the squad with 12 kills, two blocks and three aces. Lorelei Diamond also made a “big contribution,” Rogers said, with 10 kills, five digs and three aces. Ashley Dostie chipped in 16 digs and four assists while Izzy Coddington put up 28 assists.
Against the Lady Bears, the Lady Warhawks won 25-21, 25-21.
“It was a big night for the team and the win was sweet,” she exclaimed.
Meredith Buchanan led the match in kills. She had seven. Shaylen Brown had two blocks, Diamond three aces – “at critical moments in the set,” said Rogers – and Dostie was “consistent” in leading the defense. She had eight digs while Izzy Coddington put up 17 assists.
As far as the Lady Panthers, they didn’t leave empty handed, as they dropped Northside in two sets. They won the first 25-15 and second 25-11.
Lativa Ray was a catalyst on offense. She served five aces on 13 serves. Also, Rachel Dowd had four aces on six serves. Leah Spears had four kills. The team as a whole had 12.
“We played well against Northside despite some errors,” said Head Coach Terri Hunt. “Passing was good and we had aggressive net play to create offensive plays.”
Against Houston County, “As a team, we never really got into the flow of the game, especially game two. We had numerous mental errors (and) you can’t win against a good team like Houston County with mistakes.”
Lativa Ray did come out of the match with three kills, to lead the way. “She has been playing well the past few games,” said Hunt.
Next up for Perry is the final Area matches and Area tourney. Those are slated for Thursday and Saturday, respectively. Perry is currently 5-0 in the Area.