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Building on momentum

The Andalusia Lady Bulldogs hope to tap into a “keg of momentum” they earned by winning the AHS regular season tournament earlier this month.

Andalusia is currently 2-0 in Class 4A, Area 3 play, having already defeated Thomasville and Clarke County once. They have to beat them again in order to host the area tournament.

Andalusia coach Angie Grimes said in order to get ready for the next two weeks, her team will have to beef up on “defense.”

“We’re going to be working a lot on our defense because if I have to look back on our weakest link — it’s the defense,” Grimes said. “We are going to spend a lot of time focusing on that, in addition to our serve-receive. That first pass is so crucial that we’re going to continuously work on that.”

Andalusia was in a similar situation this time last season.

Last season, even though they lost the AHS regular season tournament, the Lady Bulldogs won the right to host the area tournament. However, they lost that tournament.

“It seems like last year, we lost momentum around the time we hosted our tournament,” Grimes said. “Of course this year, I’m trying to make sure that doesn’t happen. Hopefully the win we got with our tournament has given us all the momentum to carry us for the rest of the season.

“We’re going to be doing some things that I have seen that we need to do to make us more aggressive at the next level of play,” she said. “Of course our ultimate goal is to win area and then win regionals and then advance from there to sub-state play back to the state tournament. It’s just important to not lose focus every day. Our ultimate goal is to get better as a team, which is what I see us doing right now.”

Last Thursday night, the Lady Bulldogs improved to 2-0 in area play when they defeated Clarke County, 25-12, 25-22, 25-17.

Grimes said that match was good for the team “fundamentally.”

“Fundamentally, the last game we played against Clarke County (Sept. 17), we did a lot of things right,” she said. “It was a clean game as far as skills go. I was real proud of that. So, I’m just going to build on that.”

Grimes said she doesn’t know who is going to host the area tournament right now, but that the most important thing for the team is just to keep “getting stronger.”

“Our hitting is good right now,” she said. “We’re very strong on hitting and we’re very strong on serves. Those are two areas that we have pretty much dominated on.

“We’re getting stronger,” she said. “I keep running my girls. Anytime we don’t play a game, I run my girls a mile and we do pliometrics. I’m looking for that explosive player that can sustain out there. I think the conditioning of the team was one of the reasons that was a contributing factor of us holding out in our tournament. It’s a positive for us that we have continued to get stronger.”

The Lady Bulldogs’ next area contest will be Tues., Sept. 29, at Clarke County. The matches start at 4 p.m. with the junior high team.