Lady Tigers clinch regular season crown
The Straughn Lady Tigers clinched the regular season area title and the right to host the area tournament with sweeps of Andalusia and Headland Thursday night in Straughn.
Straughn vs. Headland
Straughn came out blazing in the first game against Headland and shot out front 8-0. Big kills from Derriunna Gantt, Hannah Lawless and Meredith Rogers got the Lady Tigers off and running.
Gantt pushed the lead up to 18-9 with another kill, and Ashley Hughes capped the game off with kill to give the Lady Tigers a 25-12 win.
In game two, the Lady Rams made it a little closer, and Lawless picked up a strong kill to put the Lady Tigers out front 21-17.
Gantt followed with two-straight aces, and a big block from Hughes put the Lady Tigers up 24-17.
Hughes capped off the second game with a kill for a 25-18 Lady Tigers’ win.
Rogers got the Lady Tigers off to a strong start in game three with four-straight aces to put Straughn up 5-2.
Two big kill points from Lawless increased the lead to 10-4.
Lawless picked up four more blocks in the final game, and Hughes capped the game off with a big block for a 25-13 Lady Tigers’ victory.
Andalusia vs. Headland
Game one between Andalusia and Headland went back-and-forth to start the contest, but Andalusia managed to move out front 8-4 thanks to an ace from Merikal McCaskill and couple of strong points from Caroline Andrews.
Headland battled back with strong volleys, and used a 7-0 run to go out front of the Lady Bulldogs, 11-8.
Andalusia began to scrap back when Rachel Dayton came up with back-to-back kills that sparked a Lady Bulldog rally.
Haley Harper tied the contest up 13-13 with a strong ace.
The game continued to go back-and-forth, and the Lady Bulldogs finally came away with a 28-26 win.
Andalusia came out on fire in the second game, and ran out front 7-0.
Dayton had two kills to start to the Lady Bulldogs’ rally.
Andrews came up with three kills in the second game, and Dayton had one more during the final rally that pushed the Lady Bulldogs to a 25-16 win in game two.
Headland got the first points in the third game, but an ace from Dayton sparked the Lady Bulldogs to a 4-1 lead.
Headland battled back, and went up top 7-6 before Megan Mullen tipped the ball over the net to tie the contest 7-7.
The lead changed hands a few more times before the Lady Bulldogs went up 14-13 and never gave the lead back up.
The Lady Bulldogs capped of the 25-19 win with a kill from Tori English.
Straughn vs. Andalusia
Straughn came out with an ace from Sarah Langford to start game one, and then Andalusia went up 2-1 with kills from McCaskill and Dayton.
Andalusia took a 6-3 lead before the Lady Tigers turned it up a notch and went on a 13-0 run to put them up 16-6.
The Lady Bulldogs made a late run, but couldn’t make up enough ground as the Lady Tigers went on to win game one 25-19.
Game two started much like the first one, with both teams taking turns scoring.
The Lady Bulldogs went up 7-6 off a nice dig from Harper, but the Lady Tigers followed with a 10-0 run to take a 16-7 lead.
Lawless sealed the 25-16 victory for the Lady Tigers with a block to end it.
Game three was another close game out of the game.
Straughn built and early 8-3 lead and the Lady Bulldogs just couldn’t find a way back into the ballgame.
The Lady Tigers got several kills from both Gantt and Lawless. Hughes was a force at the net once again, and stuffed several shots with a big block.
Gantt finished off the Lady Bulldogs with a kill to give the Lady Tigers a 25-14 win over the Lady Bulldogs.
“I thought we played really well tonight,” Lady Tigers’ head coach Daniel Rodgers said. “We had an injury early in the week, but we had a couple of girls that really stepped up tonight in place of Lexie Cottle. They came in and played hard and the other girls rallied around them. Our communication was great, and the girls didn’t let that injury effect the way they prepared. The first goal we set for this season was to host the area tournament. It feels good to accomplish that, but there is still a lot of volleyball left to play.”