Before the season even started, Cartersville head volleyball coach Dutch Cothran said his team could take some "knocks" in the first week of the campaign. The hope is that only the Canes' record has been dinged by a 1-5 start to the year.
After dropping its first two matches of the Sequoyah Classic on Friday night, Cartersville went 0-2 again Saturday to finish winless in the loaded tournament. The Canes battled against a pair of Class 7A foes Saturday, but Cothran's group fell 25-20, 23-25, 15-9 to East Coweta and 25-20, 25-14 to Hillgrove.
In Cartersville's final pool play match, it was the same story as so many other games in the early goings — untimely errors — that cost the Canes.
Lauren Wenzell continued her great showing in the tourney with a double-double of 12 kills and 11 digs. She also chipped in with three aces. Anna Grace Brock just missed matching Wenzell's feat, finishing with 10 kills and nine digs, while adding four kills. Macey Vaughn dished out 24 assists.
A severe height disadvantage meant Cartersville was fighting uphill against Hillgrove. Wenzell (8 kills, 12 digs, 2 aces), Brock (5 kills, 10 digs) and Vaughn (15 assists) still managed to put up solid numbers in the straight-sets defeat.
Next up for the Canes is a tri-match Tuesday at Northwest Whitfield. North Murray will be the third team.
"The bad news about this tournament is our record took a hit," Cothran said. "The good news is that we played some good teams from the bigger classifications, so we'll be ready to play good teams in 4A when that time comes.
"I saw a lot of things for us to work on, so I'm going to spend [Sunday] working on some practice plans so we can attack our weaknesses Monday at practice."