Lady Canes advance to semifinals

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The Cartersville High volleyball team has its sights set on a third-consecutive region championship.

But, first, the Lady Canes had to get past the first round of the region tournament Tuesday.

Cartersville had some unexpected trouble in the first set against Central-Carroll, but eventually persevered for a straight-sets win in the first round to set up the tournament semifinals and finals Thursday, beginning at 5 p.m. in The Storm Center.

Cartersville, the favorite to win the region tournament, found itself down 8-2 in the first set against lower-seeded Central. 

The No. 1-seeded Lady Canes hadn't played a match in 11 days, but once they got warmed up, they came back and won the first set 25-23 before rolling in the second set, 25-19.

"We were a little flat after a lengthy layoff from playing. The gym was really loud with matches that matter going on each end. It was good to play in that atmosphere," Cartersville head coach Dutch Cothran said. "We were down 8-2 in the second set and battled back to tie it at 16. Emily Petty subbed in and served three great serves in a row, and we were suddenly up three. We did a good job finishing out the match."

Nedu Evans, who was named the region's MVP Tuesday, led the Lady Canes once again with 12 kills, adding two aces. Bekah Stevens, also an all-region selection, had eight kills and four aces, while fellow all-region honoree Grace Hunter had a whopping 26 assists and three aces.

Anna Mathis added 10 digs and Anna Grace Brock had eight.

After starting the year 1-6, Cartersville is now 21-11 and will host Troup County in the region tournament semifinals.