The Cartersville volleyball team split a pair of tight three-setters to open the year with a 1-1 record Thursday at North Paulding.
A tough 25-29, 19-25, 15-10 defeat to the host Wolfpack was followed by a 24-26, 25-23, 15-12 come-from-behind win over McEachern. The Canes, who reached the Class 4A state semifinals last season, hung right with the pair of Class 7A programs, but Cartersville will feel it could have finished 2-0 on the night.
Bad stretches in the first and third sets proved too much to overcome against North Paulding. The Canes captured the second set behind the service of Anna Grace Brock and attacking ability of London Moultrie.
Cartersville squandered a 14-3 lead in the first set against McEachern before recovering to salvage a split.
"We were inconsistent in every aspect, and our intensity was lacking," Canes head coach Dutch Cothran said of the first set.
Facing a potential 0-2 start, Cartersville rallied from a 20-16 deficit to force a winner-take-all third set. It took a late run, but the Canes did manage to earn their first victory of the season.
Moultrie led the offense with 10 total kills — six coming against the Wolfpack. Macey Vaughn paced the team with nine assists in the opener and 10 in the second match.
Brock and Lauren Wenzell had a joint-team-high three aces. Defensively, Mason Cline finished with 14 digs, including nine against North Paulding. Layne Condra ended the night with dig totals of five and six, respectively.
Cartersville will be back in action in the Sequoyah Classic at 5 p.m. Friday at Etowah.
Cass drops season-opening matches
The Cass volleyball team suffered a pair of straight-sets losses to Calhoun and host Pepperell in a road tri-match to begin the 2019 season Thursday.
According to Colonels head coach Alan Potter, his team "played well at times but could not find the rhythm of the match."
Cass will return to action Saturday in the Welcome to the Jungle tournament hosted by Adairsville. The Colonels will be in a group with Woodland, Adairsville and Kell with pool play beginning at 9 a.m.