Two games do not make a season. But for Alcovy volleyball, starting off with two wins after a tough 2010 season is certainly a positive way to kick off the new year.
The Lady Tigers won their tri-match at Salem Thursday, taking two games from the host Lady Salem Seminoles before dispatching Madison County in three games. Alcovy defeated Salem 25-22 and 25-18 then topped Madison County 25-20, 20-25 and 25-18.
"The way my girls are, they needed this for confidence," Alcovy coach Amanda Briggs said. "I have a lot of girls that are new to the team. We only have three girls that have really played together so starting out with a couple of wins is good for confidence building. I think they were extremely nervous and I think this was a good start for them."
Brittany Jacobson led the team with 11 kills on the night while Paige Hood had nine. Alissa Yang had five, Briana Clark notched four and Kristen Gauthier finished with three.
From the service line Taylor Staples led the Lady Tigers with 12 aces including five in the first game against Madison County. Gauthier and Yang each had six and Hood and Jacobson each registered three.
The Lady Tigers opened the night a bit sloppy as they committed 10 errors in their 25-22 win in the first game against Salem. Five of those errors were from the service line. They rebounded nicely in the second game, cutting their errors in half in the 25-18 win.
"We have a lot of girls that are new to the team so I think we are just finding our rhythm," Briggs said. "I think we'll clean those errors up this week and hopefully Monday before Newton, we'll clean up our execution and our service errors. I think our passing is OK but we have to work on our defense when it comes to the net."
Against Madison County, they played solid defense against a more attacking team and registered five blocks, three by Jacobson and two by Hood, to win the first game 25-20. Staples notched five straight aces before a service error halted her scoring run.
Madison County bounced back in the second game as Alcovy again made several errors, 12 of them, that cost them.
"Madison (County) hit some tough balls against us and I think our defense played well. We know what to do if we can get out of our own way," Briggs said. "We have a lot of girls in the back row that stack up against each other. The net play was OK but we have to clean some things up in the back row."
Despite dropping the game 20-25, the Lady Tigers responded with a cleaner game in the match clincher led again by Staples' serving and Jacobson's attack
The Lady Tigers have little time to rest nor can they bask in their opening-match success as they get travel Tuesday to face a much-improved Newton team. The Lady Rams come off an emotional win over Eastside and can capture the county championship for the first time in school history. Alcovy topped both county rivals two years ago to lay such a claim.
"We aren't overconfident. These girls are going to take each game as it comes," Briggs said. "We are looking on to the next game and the next challenge and prepare for it the best we can."
ing. Alcovy's senior outside hitter scored four points on kills and two more on aces while Staples ran off four straight aces. Yang also had a solid game with two kills and an ace.