COVINGTON, Ga. — The Eastside High School volleyball team collected its third win of the season Thursday afternoon when it traveled to county rival Newton High School and swept the Lady Rams in three sets.
The Lady Eagles (3-1) took control early on in the first set and held tight for a 25-18 decision. In the second set, however, the Lady Rams (0-1) began to shake off some of their early season nerves.
Newton remained competitive and stayed within striking distance throughout the set, but Eastside ultimately proved to be too much as the Lady Eagles eked out a 25-22 win.
One set away from capping the sweep, the Lady Eagles came out firing quickly in the match-deciding contest. They scored the game’s first points and never look back en route to a 25-13 decision that sealed the shutout.
Coming off a 2-0 loss to Morgan County on Tuesday, Eastside head coach Maggie Johnston was pleased with the way her club responded to its first taste of adversity in the 2020 season.
“I was very proud of the girls for making a lot of improvement from Tuesday,” Johnston said. “Coming out of COVID-19 has been very difficult because of all the changes, and we were very discombobulated earlier this week. We’ve also lost a couple girls due to injuries and transfers, so I was happy to seem them out here and work together as a team.”
Johnston’s Lady Eagles are scheduled to return to the hardwood Thursday, Aug. 10, when they travel back to Morgan County High School to square off against Morgan County and Lanier.
Thursday marked the varsity debut for head coach Ayauna Ellis. After spending last fall as head coach of Newton's junior varsity team, Ellis is eager to mark her mark with her new squad.
“My goal this year is to possibly get the girls some scholarships,” Ellis said, “all while staying safe, social distancing and enjoying their season.”
Despite dropping the season opener, Ellis was encouraged by what she saw from her team Thursday.
““I think we have a lot to improve on. However, this is just our first game of the season,” she said. “With COVID-19, everything prior to this had been canceled. We came out and played hard, and now we’ll see what we have to work on to prepare for the next game. Overall, we did well.”
Newton is slated to begin Region 4-AAAAAAA play Thursday, Aug. 10, when it welcomes Brookwood to town.