Volleyball team competes in State Playoffs

  • Freshman Mary Mullinax gets up high for a powerful spike during the Lady Indians’ State Playoff match versus Calhoun.
    Freshman Mary Mullinax gets up high for a powerful spike during the Lady Indians’ State Playoff match versus Calhoun.
Body

The LCHS varsity volleyball’s 2019 season came to an end when the Lady Indians were defeated in straight sets by Calhoun in the first round of the GHSA State Volleyball Playoffs on Saturday, Oct. 19.
LCHS head volleyball coach Haley Dibble and her players knew going into the game that it was going to take a superb performance in order to get past the Lady Yellow Jackets and advance to the Sweet 16 round.
Calhoun came into the game boasting a 43-4 overall record and ranked 73rd in the state while the Lady Indians came into the matchup with a 22-20 overall record and ranked 155th in the state.
“Calhoun played a very aggressive game and they came ready to play,” said Dibble. “We did not play with the passion and intensity that I have seen us play with previously this season. We were not outmatched, but I do believe that Calhoun put more effort into winning the game than we did. We knew going in that we would have to play a very clean and aggressive game, and we just couldn’t deliver.”
The Lady Indians began the first set by scoring the first three points behind strong service from Kiersta Trammell, but the Lady Yellow Jackets came storming back with a eight point run that allowed Calhoun to take an 8-3 advantage. The Lady Yellow Jackets never looked back and scored the final three points of the set to take it by a final score of 25-10, giving Calhoun a 1-0 lead.
Lumpkin put up more of a fight in the second set after falling behind 7-1 in the early going. However, the Lady Yellow Jackets’ strong service and net play ultimately overwhelmed the Lady Indians and Calhoun took a 2-0 advantage by winning the second set 25-16.
Lumpkin once again found itself behind early in the third set of the best-of-five match, and the Lady Indians were unable to mount a sustained rally in order to climb out of the early deficit. Despite a late charge from Lumpkin, Calhoun eventually won the third set by a final score of 25-15 to win the game 3-0, ending the Lady Indians’ 2019 season.
Despite the loss, Dibble expressed her excitement about being able to coach the team she once played for during her high school days after taking over for former LCHS head volleyball coach Katie Powell this season.
“I had an amazing time this season, and am so glad that I had the opportunity to work with these girls and coach the team this year,” Dibble said. “I learned more this season than I ever could have imagined.”
Dibble also was quick to point out that the loss to Calhoun in the first round of the State Playoffs did not define the Lady Indians’ season.
“I am extremely proud of everything the team has accomplished this season,” Dibble said. “We had an incredible season and played some incredible games. I told the team not to let one loss define their entire season, because each of them should be as proud as I am of all that they have accomplished this season.”
With just two members of the team being lost to graduation this year, Dibble is optimistic that the team will only grow stronger next season.
“With the majority of my starters returning, I think we are set up to have a very successful season next year,” Dibble said. “We have the opportunity to use what we have already grown and develop even further going into next season. I am also excited about the new talent coming up the high school next year that will help to develop and grow the program. Next year looks great for Lady Indians volleyball.”
One of the aspects of the Lady Indians’ game that Dibble will focus on during the offseason will be the team’s energy and intensity levels.
“Winning volleyball games requires more than skill, it takes effort and intensity,” Dibble said. “If we want to be successful next season, we will have to ensure that we always play with the highest level of intensity and effort on the court. In the offseason, we will continue to focus on having game speed intensity in each drill we run and every time we touch a ball.”
The LCHS varsity volleyball team finished the 2019 season with an overall record of 22-21, an area record of 5-3 and earned a spot in the State Playoffs for the second year in a row.