By R. Alan Richardson
In a number of hotly contested sets and games, the Lady Spike Dogs took four big wins at the Battle of the Borders Tournament Saturday. Three of the four went three sets against quality competition. The team seems to be coming together despite their youth. However, the loss of freshman outside hitter Emma Silvey to a torn thumb ligament will keep her sidelined for the next six weeks, according to Coach Greg Thompson. He said, “She’s in a cast. It’s a big loss!”
Morgan defeated Belton-Honea Path in three sets; 25-21, 16-25, 15-7, Walhalla in three sets; 25-22, 21-25, 15-13, Bethlehem Christian in three sets; 25-27, 25-14, 15-6, and Laurens in straight sets; 25-7 and 25-16. MOCO showed some resilience by coming back from second set losses to win in tiebreaker fashion. Bethlehem took the first set before the Lady Dogs roared back to win set two and in the third.
Thompson talked about some of his key players:
Aris Hubbard is playing outstanding at outside hitter. If we get the right pass and set she is almost impossible to stop.
Bailey Shultz is doing very well running our offense as our setter. She is making great decisions on the floor.
Madison Gasque is our leader on the back row at the Libero position and continues to impress us with consistent passes every match.
Freshman Brooke Butler, Anna Cox and McKenzie Larate have stepped in
and played very well for us and are getting more comfortable every day.
Senior Natalie Baddour has been very consistent in the Middle and knows
her role on our team as a blocker and middle hitter. She knows exactly
what to do and does a great job in the middle.
Seniors Lexi Forton (DS) and Katie Hill (right side hitter) have been showing great senior leadership and playing very well.
Freshman Gracie Christian traveled with us to Stephens County on Saturday and gave us some great minutes on the back row with consistent passing and service run that gave us a victory. She has been on our JV team but I see in her being helpful for us on the Varsity by the end of the season.
Thompson reflected on the weekend, “We had a great day on Saturday picking up 4 wins and three of those coming against quality teams from South Carolina.
I feel like we are making good progress every time we step on the floor. Our passes are getting better, our service errors are going down and we are starting to block better than we have all year. We still have a lot to work on, but we want to be playing our best volleyball at the end of September and into early October. We will get there!”
Next up: The Spike Dogs (varsity and JV) will face off with Madison County and East Hall on 8/24 and then take on East Jackson and Hart County on 8/29 in a very important two game region matchup.