So far in 2008, Alcovy's volleyball season has been mired with inconsistent play and tough losses. Chalk one more up to both. The Lady Tigers dropped matches to Mt. Zion and North Clayton 25-15, 24-26, 23-25 and 7-25, 18-25 in Region 8-AAAA play Tuesday.
The evening started well as Alcovy picked up an early win in the first game against Mt. Zion. The Lady Tigers raced out to quick 9-4 lead on the strength of back-to-back aces by Lacy Ivey.
Mt. Zion battled back and eventually worked the score even at 10-10 before Alcovy went on a 9-2 run to push its lead to 19-12.
After three straight Mt. Zion points, Alcovy took control and served out the rest of the way en route to a 25-15 win.
The second game started much like the first one ended. Alcovy jumped out to a 12-3 then stretched it to 15-7 before Mt. Zion began chipping away. Alcovy saw their lead slowly evaporate until Mt. Zion came all the way back to tie the game at 18-18.
The Lady Tigers responded with 7-1 run and appeared to stabilize things. But as quick as they built the lead, Alcovy gave it right back. Up 24-19, the Lady Tigers needed one point to win the match. Instead it was Mt. Zion that closed the game out, scoring seven straight points to win 26-24.
With a chance at redemption, Alcovy started sluggish in the third game and quickly faced a 3-6 deficit. Molly Rice tied the game at 6-6 with a kill to the right side of the floor and the two teams went back and forth over the next several points.
Neither team let the other get far away. Mt. Zion built a 15-12 lead only to see Alcovy storm back to tie the game at 16-16.
Down 16-18, the Lady Tigers ripped off four quick points to capture a 20-18 lead. Again Mt. Zion answered with 6-1 run and Alcovy faced match-point for the first time.
Alcovy refused to lose as they scored two quick points but down 23-24, the Lady Tigers were unable to handle a deep serve and Mt. Zion emerged with the 25-23 win and the match.
"The first game we did what we were supposed to do. We worked together as a team and we were where we are supposed to be, in all the correct spots," said Alcovy coach Amanda Briggs. "The second and third games, we stopped working as a team, end of discussion. Everything feel apart when we stopped working as a team."
Leah Anderson led Alcovy with four kills followed by Courtney Keaton and Ivy with two. Ivy and Holly Oakes paced the Lady Tigers in aces with three apiece followed by Ashley Jacobson and Anderson, who served well throughout the match, with two aces apiece.
In the nightcap versus North Clayton, the Lady Tigers appeared overmatched as the Lady Eagles jumped out to a quick lead and never looked back, defeating Alcovy 7-25.
"They were big and strong and intimidated us at first," Briggs said. "The second game I took out a few players and put in some girls from the bench and brought in an attitude change."
Briggs made some adjustments and the team responded in the second game. But it was too little, too late as the Lady Eagles fought off Alcovy's attempt to salvage the second match with an 18-25 win.
"There was a big change," she added. "Even though we lost, I feel like they played like I taught them to play. They played like I knew they could do. If they had played like that against Mt. Zion, we would have beaten them."