Kasey Austin’s Carrollton High School volleyball team started out its 2018 season off hot at the West Georgia Classic at Bremen on Monday.
The Lady Trojans (3-0) swept both Bremen and Villa Rica in back-to-back matches in pool play before defeating Central (25-23, 25-21) in the final to emerge as tournament champions.
“We were a little slow to start, but we definitely had a better finish,” Austin said. “From the start we were less organized, but by the end we had a plan, we were communicating and we were doing what we should be doing. It makes me hopeful going into the season to start it off like that.”
After taking down the host Lady Blue Devils, Carrollton built a 12-3 lead against rival Villa Rica in the opening set, only to see its lead dwindle down to two points. Regaining momentum, the Lady Trojans ended up taking the set, 25-19.
Set No. 2 with the Lady Wildcats was a more back-and-forth affair, one that saw them emerge victorious with a score of 25-20 to advance to the final.
“We always play them tight. For the past three years, most of our sets have gone to like 26-24 or tight scores like that,” Austin said of VR. “They’re a big competitor in area, too, so we see them a lot during the season and obviously being close, we see them a lot during the summer. It felt really good to take those two sets from them.”
The Lady Trojans will travel to Haralson County on Thursday to face the host Rebelettes and Alexander.
After dropping their first match to Carrollton, the Lady Blue Devils (1-1) rebounded nicely with a 25-17, 25-21 victory of Villa Rica.
Falling behind 9-3 early in the first set, Bremen rallied back to tie it at 9-all and eventually took control to put themselves on the board.
The second set was the same story with VR taking a quick 12-6 lead only for BHS to storm back.
Tied at 21, the Blue and White locked in for four straight points to take the set and the match.
“I’m pleased with what I saw. Carrollton and Villa Rica are two very good teams, there’s no doubt there, so I was pleased with how our girls came out,” Bremen head coach Cynthia Pirch said afterwards. “We’re swinging hard. Some of those balls are going out and not going our way, but with little tweaks I think we’ll come out strong over the next couple of weeks.”
Bremen will travel to Cartersville on Thursday to face the host Lady Hurricanes, Northwest Whitfield and Cherokee.
“We’re working on some specific things that they know that need to improve and I think over the next couple of weeks, we’re going to fine tune those aspects and come out strong in our area,” Pirch said.
Monday wasn’t how first-year head coach Bianca Helton and her Lady Wildcats wanted to start the 2018 campaign. For them, the early part of the season is still a process of figuring things out.
“We were just a little inconsistent. Some of our players are young, so that’s part of it,” Helton said. “We’re still trying to figure out what works for us. We have so many girls that can play in different places, so we’re just trying to work out the kinks. It might take until the end of August, it might take until September, it might take until the area tournament.”
VR will immediately turn around for another pair of games by hosting Central today at 5 p.m.
“We have Hiram and Central (tonight), so we don’t have time to fret over what happened (Monday),” Helton said. “Thursday, we have Allatoona and North Paulding, so the competition is there and the ball is never going to stop rolling. So we have to just keep playing.”