Special to the Citizen
The stakes were at an all-time high for the Morgan County Volleyball team’s trip to East Jackson on Tuesday night. With East Jackson and Morgan County tied atop the area standings heading into the match, the Spike Dogs walked away with the program’s first ever area championship after defeating the home standing Eagles two sets to one.
Set number one saw Morgan County start fast and race out to a 14-7 lead. However, that lead would be erased over the course of the remainder of the set as East Jackson went on an 18-4 run to take a 25-18 come-from-behind victory.
With the momentum and home crowd clearly in favor of East Jackson, Morgan County responded to adversity and answered the challenge. The second set was a back and forth affair from the get go. East Jackson extended its lead to 22-18, which was the largest deficit either team would face in the set. With their backs against the wall, the Spike Dogs rallied for four straight points to knot the score at 22. The teams would exchange points down the stretch and once again find themselves even at 25. East Jackson scored next and was within one point of seizing the set and 2016 area championship. However, Morgan County found itself on top after scoring three straight points to take a 28-26 victory to set up a decisive third set.
The Spike Dogs jumped out to a sizable 11-6 advantage early in the set. East Jackson continued to make plays and closed the Morgan County lead to just three at 15-12. Morgan County’s lead would diminish to two at 20-18, and the visitors eventually found themselves tied at 22-22. With the momentum pendulum swinging back to the side of East Jackson, the Spike Dogs regrouped to score the final three points of the set making the final score 25-22.
The 2-1 victory secured Morgan County’s first ever area championship in the program’s eleven year history. Head coach Greg Thompson stated, “This was one of the most intense volleyball matches I have been a part of. I was so proud of our girls and how they stayed in the match after a very disappointing first set.” Thompson added, “It would have been very easy to fold, but we kept fighting and made plays at the right times. It was a great night for our girls and our volleyball program. I am so happy for our seniors. It was a great experience for our younger players who now know what it takes to be able to perform at your best when it matters most.”
The Morgan County Spike Dogs will close out the regular season by participating in a tournament at Monroe Area on Saturday followed by the regular season finale at Athens Academy on Tuesday. The Spike Dogs have secured the number one seed from area eight heading into the GHSA state playoffs. Morgan County will host round one of the state playoffs the second week of October with the match time and opponent to be determined next week.”
See www.mocoathletics.com for more information.