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Eastside tops at play date
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All three Newton County volleyball teams were in action Saturday at Alcovy for a seven-team play date. Eastside fared the best, winning three matches while Alcovy and Newton each picked up wins.

Eastside started off well, defeating Salem 25-19, 18-25 and 25-18. The Lady Eagles then defeated Morgan County 25-23, 21-25 and 25-17 before falling to Ola 16-25 and 21-25.

"In warm ups they looked pretty rough. I didn't think they were going to play as well as they did," Eastside coach Angie Lewis said. "I was pretty pleased with the first game, and they had moments in the second game. We had a lot of miscommunication but, overall they did okay."

Alcovy jumped out to a fast start as they defeated Newton 25-22, 23-25 and 25-15 before falling to West Hall 11-25 and 23-25. The Lady Tigers responded by defeating Salem 25-23, 23-25 and 25-21.

"They worked really well as a team," Alcovy coach Amanda Briggs said after the match against Newton. "We let them get the better of us and fell apart in the second game."

After dropping its first match to Alcovy and its first game to Salem 21-25, Newton stormed back to defeated the Lady Seminoles 25-19 and 25-14.

"It feels great to win," Newton coach Shandelyn Carter said. "To see that they finally put what they've worked on in practice in the game and come back for the win, it feels good. The girl's spirits were high and when their spirits are high like that, they play well."

Alcovy and Eastside faced off later in the day with the Lady Eagles emerging with the three-game win.

After Eastside earned a 25-21 victory in the first game, Alcovy battled back to win the middle game 27-25. The Lady Tigers struggled in the third game and could never get on track as Eastside won 25-13 and took the match.

"We have a harder time getting out of our serve receive," Briggs said. "When we serve well, that helps us.

Carter mixed up her lineup throughout the day in an attempt to get everyone involved. While the results were mixed, she believes the experience will help her team down the road.

"I had some girls in there who haven't been playing with the varsity as much,"

Carter said. "I think it took a few of those early games for them to get their rhythm."

With roughly 10 days to prepare for their first games, the volleyball teams do not have the luxury of a lot of practice and preparation.

Lewis said she tried to get more girls playing time despite the chance her team may lose a match.

"In play dates, we want to get as many girls playing time as we can," Lewis said. "It still counts on our record so we want to win the matches. But it will help our team in the long run."

Alcovy has played well lately and despite losing several matches to open the season, the Lady Tigers are rounding into form as the season wears on. All three coaches agreed the more the girls play, the better they will be.

"When we make a mistake, if we can't correct it in a play or two, it's hard for the girls to get out of it," Briggs said. "They have been playing much better as a group. It's the teamwork that's made a difference. The more we play, the better we get. It's that simple."