Varsity volleyball gears up for area play

  • Makenzie Caldwell lets loose with a powerful spike versus the Union County Lady Panthers. Aggressive net play has been an integral part of the Lady Indians’ success this season.
    Makenzie Caldwell lets loose with a powerful spike versus the Union County Lady Panthers. Aggressive net play has been an integral part of the Lady Indians’ success this season.
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The LCHS varsity volleyball team proved they are prepared to hold their own versus even the toughest competition when the Lady Indians defeated Union County before falling to undefeated Habersham Central in a close game last week.
The Lady Indians improved to 16-14 with the 1-1 week on the court, putting them in good position with region play starting this week.
Lumpkin began the week by traveling to Union County on Tuesday, Sept. 10, to square off with the Lady Panthers in a best-of-five game.
The Lady Indians started off strong with aggressive net play and solid service, allowing them to eke out a close 26-24 first set win against Union.
The Lady Panthers bounced back in the second set and took advantage of some unforced errors by Lumpkin to earned themselves a 25-23 second set victory, evening the score between the two squads at a set apiece.
However, the tie wouldn’t last long as the Lady Indians utilized all their weapons in the third set to take a 2-1 advantage with a 25-19 win.
Lumpkin and Union battled it out in the fourth set, but the Lady Indians were able to mount a late comeback to earn a 26-24 fourth set win.
The close victory allowed the Lady Indians to defeat the Lady Panthers by a final score of 3-1, improving their overall record to 16-13.
LCHS head volleyball coach Haley Dibble credited her team’s aggressiveness at the net and their solid service game for helping them get past a tough Union County team.
“At this point in the season, we have realized that if we want to compete and win games, then we have to be aggressive and attack the net,” said Dibble. “We know what works for us, so we have been really trying to attack every opportunity we get. We also have a strong net game defensively, putting up a very strong block in almost every rotation. That has helped our game by eliminating our opponent’s strongest hitters as well. Solid serving is one of the most important things you can do in volleyball. Missing a serve just gives the other team a free point, so we work with serving a lot in practice. Getting all of our serves over in a game is always the goal, and we are continually eliminating our service mistakes.”
The win gave the Lady Indians some confidence before their matchup with undefeated Habersham Central on Thursday, Sept. 12.
Dibble knew that her team would have to play to near perfection if they were to pull out the upset on the road against the Lady Raiders.
“In order to beat Habersham, we will have to be at our very best in all aspects,” Dibble said. “We will need to play together and play very aggressively. To beat a team like Habersham, you have to play with very little mistakes and have high intensity the entire time.”
The Lady Raiders proved why they haven’t lost this season during the match, but Lumpkin would fight until the very last point in the best-of-five game.
Lumpkin battled with the Lady Raiders throughout the contest, despite being beaten 3-0 by Habersham. The Lady Indians lost the first set 25-22 before dropping the second set 25-19 and the third set 25-17.
Dibble was pleased by her team’s performance against the Lady Raiders, calling it one of the best games she’s seen from her players this season.
“I am so happy with the way we played against Habersham,” Dibble said. “From the first to the last point, we were giving it our all. It was some of the best volleyball we’ve seen this season, and I am so proud of the way my team took the court. We were attacking the net and playing very aggressively. As a team we pulled together and pulled out the strengths of each of our players. I am also proud of the way we held intensity and never gave up, no matter what was happening on the other side.”
The game also allowed Dibble to recognized some areas where the Lady Indians need to focus on in order to get better on the court for the remainder of the season.
“There are still things we can work on that we saw come out in the game,” Dibble said. “We still need to react a little more quickly on defense and move faster to get to the ball. Reading and reacting are critical components of our defense that we can improve.”
With the progress see has seen from her players since the start of the season, Dibble believes that the Lady Indians are ready to make a strong push with the start of region play.
“Now as we begin our area matches and get closer to the region tournament, we will work towards playing with what we know works for us,” Dibble said. “We have now set the standard for what we want Lumpkin Volleyball to be, so we will keep working hard to ensure that we reach the season’s full potential.”
At press time, the Lady Indians were set to start area play when they traveled to Fannin County to square off with the Lady Rebels and the North Hall Lady Trojans on Tuesday, Sept. 17. No official results were available.
The LCHS varsity volleyball team will be back in action when they host Rabun and West Hall tomorrow, Sept. 19, at the Longhouse. The Lady Indians will take on Rabun at 5 p.m. and West Hall at 7 p.m.