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Alcovy volleyball teams falls to Rockdale
Alcovy's Azha Yana serving for the Tigers in Tuesday's game against Rockdale County.

The Alcovy High School volleyball team fell 2-1 (25-21, 25-20, 15-13) to the Rockdale High School Bulldogs despite a strong team effort Tuesday night on the road.

“We played very well tonight,” said Alcovy coach Chris Newsham. “The effort was there. The girls played real hard. I’m proud of the effort. Sometimes you come up short, but that’s about the best we’ve played all season.”

Both teams went back and forth scoring in the first set, with the game tying 12 times. Rockdale scored off the first serve of the game, and Alcovy answered to tie the game 1-1. Whenever Alcovy would score, the Bulldogs would answer, always keeping close until an unreturned serve by Diamond Williams gave the Tigers a three-point 13-10 lead. Rockdale scored three times in a row to tie the game, but Alcovy answered to go back up 14-13.

With the score tied 19-19, a bad serve by the Bulldogs put Alcovy back in front 20-19, and the Tigers ended the set on a 5-2 score run, winning 25-21.

Rockdale regrouped and played a much more well-balanced second set. Alcovy scored the first point, but the Bulldogs scored three unanswered points to go up 3-1. A kill by Katherine Hopson tied the set 4-4, and the Tigers then took the lead off a serve to go up 5-4, but Rockdale four points to lead 8-5.

The Tigers moved within two in the next play, but never got much closer as the Bulldogs scored 13 of the next 18 points for a 21-12 lead. Danielle Crowe subbed back into the game for Alcovy and a quick dig by her sparked a 5-0 run to bring the Tigers back within four. Rockdale called a timeout and held the Tigers off in the final plays to win the set 25-20.

The Tigers appeared to have the final set under control, jumping out to an early 5-0 lead, forcing a Rockdale timeout. The Bulldogs scored the next point, but Alcovy answered with four of its own to extend its lead to 9-1 over the frustrated Rockdale.

The Bulldogs answered with a 6-0 run, cutting Alcovy’s lead to two points, and momentum continued to switch in their favor as they ended the set on a 8-4 run to win the final set 15-13 and win the match.

“They have to get the serves back,” Newsham said about his team’s collapse in the final set. “You have to keep the serve alive, and that kind of cost us right there in the beginning of the game, but it’s the same for both teams. We were evenly matched. They were three good games, and played hard, just came up a little bit short.”

The Tigers are now 1-10 on the season with another game on the road against Jackson on Thursday. But despite the team’s record, Newsham believes Alcovy is making significant progress.

“We’re going to work on effort and communication,” he said. “That’s the big thing for me, playing as a team. The girls played as a team tonight. Returning the serve is something we worked on in practice, and it was a lot better tonight than it was last week when we played Heritage. We’ll get back out there tomorrow, and we’ll keep working on some things, and hopefully next time we’ll come out and play a little better than we did tonight and get the win.”