By R. Alan Richardson
Six seniors on the Morgan County High School volleyball squad have been instrumental in the recent and past success of the program. Those players were given a grand sendoff this past week in an early version of senior night at their home gym. Brooke Butler, McKenzie Larate, Emma Silvey, Faith Heusser, Anna Cox, and Gracie Christian were given their final season hoorahs surrounded by their teammates and loyal fans. Most of these young ladies have been a part of varsity competition for the past four years during seasons of region and state runs.
First-year head coach Kathleen Goodwin said, “Senior night was a really special time to celebrate our six seniors this year. I feel incredibly lucky to have had one year with them. They are a special group!”
This past week the Dogs took a laughable win over Region 4-AAA opponent 25-2 and 25-1 and Eastside 25-12, 25-9 after Newton County reinstated their fall sports programs on senior night. Later in the week they outsted former 8-AAA foe Hart County 25-10 and 25-20 before overcoming North Oconee 25-22 and 25-11. The team moved to 18-3 overall and 3-0 in 4-AAA action after these four matches.
The new region poses new issues and new opposition. Goodwin knows it’s a long season and a long way from being over. She told us, “We are currently 3-0 in region, but we have a lot of region play to go. We take each match as a fresh start. There are no guaranteed wins in our sport. The girls have to work for every single point and stay mentally tough through every match. We are feeling confident moving forward, but always ready for the next one.”
Following Thursday’s wins Goodwin weighed in on the team’s progress, “Our first few weeks of matches, the girls were winning and playing well, but watching them now feels like a different team. They are communicating better, their timing on the net is quicker, they are tighter on defense, and as a whole, they are really flowing. We do a lot of reps in practice, and the girls work hard each day to perform the way they are on the court.”
Stats for the week included:
Tuesday 9/1 @ Home
Won vs. Hepzibah: 25-2, 25-1
Leaders: Kills= Brooke Butler (8); Aces= McKenzie Larate (10), Emma Silvey (8), and Faith Heusser (8)
Won vs. Eastside: 25-12, 25-9
Leaders: Kills= Brooke Butler (9) and Makenzie Pitzer (5); Digs= Addy Christian (6) and Gracie Christian (3); Blocks= Makenzie Pitzer (2);
Assists= Anna Cox (21)
Thursday 9/3 @ Home
Won vs. Hart Co.: 25-10, 25-20
Leaders: Kills= Brooke Butler (10) and Emma Silvey (5); Digs=Addy Christian (8) and Presley Hill (6); Aces= Presley Hill (2) and Addy Christian (2); Assists= Anna Cox (9)
Won vs. North Oconee: 25-22, 25-11
Leaders: Kills= Brooke Butler (9) and Presley Hill (8); Digs= Addy Christian (18) and Brooke Butler (8); Blocks= Makenzie Larate (1); Assists= Anna Cox (16)
The Lady Dogs have a busy schedule this week with matches against Harlem, Cross Creek, Eastside, Lanier, and Prince Avenue.