David Adams, Adairsville volleyball head coach, said his team lost its first set against Wheeler out of Marietta on Thursday by a score of 25-23 and realized it had stood toe to toe with the upper division school in that matchup.
“We had figured they would outman us being a 6A school so we took a lot of confidence from the close loss. We thought we could play with these guys and that’s what we did,” Adams said.
The Lady Tigers also swept both sets against Cass, which hosted the event.
Adams said the lead kept changing hands in the second set.
“We both would get behind and claw our way back into the lead,” Adams said. “It was fun for the fans. Wheeler is a really good team. They were scrappy.”
He said Wheeler pulled out to a five-point lead but Adairsville had the answer late and came back when it mattered most for a 25-20 victory.
“We just kept fighting and kept fighting,” he said. “Volleyball is a game of streaks, times where everything you do just goes smoothly and times where it doesn’t.
“We rode one of those streaks at the end of the set and scored four or five points where they were making mistakes.”
Adams said Adairsville jumped out to a four-point lead near the start of the final set and Wheeler appeared to feel the pressure.
“We got up seven points and they still fought, but it was a big hole they had to dig their way out of,” he added.
Adairsville cruised to a 25-16 victory in the third set.
The Lady Tigers, who improved to 3-1 on the season, defeated Cass in both sets, 25-9 and 25-11.
“We really played well in both games,” Adams said.
The coach credited the Lady Tigers with learning something in their loss to Coosa earlier this year that helped them against Wheeler.
“When we lost to Coosa, we realized we weren’t doing the little things you need to do to win. It was things like the defense being just a little late getting to the ball.
“We worked on that, tightened up mentally and it paid off. I’m real proud of our girls because they all committed to playing hard while the ball was in play.”
Helping pave the way for the Adairsville win was Amber Litteral, who had seven aces, 15 kills and three blocks.
“She’s 5 foot, 7 inches, but she plays like she’s 6 foot, 2 inches,” Adams said.
He said Emily Sexauer contributed a team-high nine aces and six assists.
“Sydney Sumners also had a very solid night with two aces, nine kills and six digs,” Adams said. “She’s our general all-around player.
“Chloe Powell continued to play well, earning one ace and six kills in her third and fourth varsity games.”
He said another key to Adairsville’s season has been the play of Brooke Washington.
“She has been filling in at libero the past four games,” he said. “She’s just a sophomore and had never played varsity and she’s doing a spectacular job for us.”
Adairsville next plays on Tuesday when it visits Rockmart to play the Lady Yellow Jackets and Model High in a tri-match.