Lady Tigers through to Class AAA Sweet 16

Walker County Messenger - - Sports - By Scott Herpst

A pretty sweet sea­son for the Ring­gold Lady Tigers got a whole lot sweeter last Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon.

The Blue-and-White not only earned a trip to the Class AAA Sweet 16, but they se­cured at least one fi­nal home match for their se­niors with a 25-10, 25-13, 26-28 and 25-12 vic­tory over the vis­it­ing Hart County Lady Bull­dogs at David L. Moss Gym­na­sium.

“It’s awe­some,” se­nior Ricki Lynn Bick­ley said of ad­vanc­ing to the Round of 16 af­ter block­ing three shots and lead­ing the Lady Tigers in digs (22) and kills (16) on the night. “It’s the best feel­ing there is.”

The Lady Bull­dogs, the fourth-seed from Re­gion 8, scored the ini­tial point in each of the first two sets, but both times the Re­gion 6 champs would come storm­ing back.

Zoie Met­calf had eight straight ser­vice points at the begin­ning of the first set and the Lady Tigers would score the fi­nal six points to cruise to the first set vic­tory. Met­calf, vary­ing up her serves to keep Hart County off bal­ance, had nine straight ser­vices points in the se­cond set to build a 10-1 lead and the Lady Tigers never led by less than five points the re­main­der of the set.

How­ever, the Lady Bull­dogs came out swing­ing in the third set, stay­ing within strik­ing dis­tance the en­tire way be­fore fi­nally ty­ing the score at 23.

They staved off three match points be­fore an ace by Tanyah Mer­ritt - the first ace of the match for Hart - gave her team set point at 2726. Mid­dle hitter Rachel Ad­di­son then fin­ished it off with a kill to briefly swing the mo­men­tum to the side of the vis­i­tors

from Hartwell.

But the mo­men­tum wouldn’t last very long as the Lady Tigers opened the fourth set with a re­newed sense of ur­gency. They jumped out to a big lead, kept their foot on the ac­cel­er­a­tor and were never threat­ened. A fi­nal kill by se­nior Lau­ren Ter­rell fi­nally closed out the match.

“We kind of let those first two wins go to our head a lit­tle and didn’t keep push­ing,” Bick­ely said of the third set loss. “We re­al­ized we had to get it to­gether if we re­ally wanted to pro­ceed to the se­cond round. It was our time to shine, so why not do it in style?”

Er­rors also played a cru­cial role on Wed­nes­day. Ring­gold made just four ser­vice er­rors all night long, while most of their kill at­tempts re­sulted in kills or digs by the Lady Bull­dogs. Mean­while, Hart saw nu­mer­ous ser­vice and shot at­tempts sail long or crash into the net.

“If you want to win, you have to be able to serve the ball,” Ring­gold head coach Ash­ley Borne said. “Oth­er­wise, you’re just giv­ing (the other team) a point. We just missed one serve in each set and that’s not bad. We also didn’t have too many er­rors on at­tacks, ei­ther in the net or out of bounds, so that was im­por­tant too.”

Met­calf dished out 33 as­sists to go with 15 digs, 10 aces and three kills. Chloe Hall played solid de­fense with 18 digs to go with her seven kills and three aces. Jasley Brooks had 10 digs, four kills and an ace, while Ter­rell fin­ished with 12 digs, three kills, three aces and two as­sists.

Also con­tribut­ing was Bethany Thoma­son (3 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 1 dig), Emily Ri­d­ley (9 digs) and Jewel Parham (2 digs).

Next up for the Lady Tigers (24-17) will be a home match against No. 4-ranked Greater At­lanta Chris­tian. That match was slated for Tues­day af­ter­noon.

The Lady Spar­tans swept Stone Moun­tain in the open­ing round.

Ricki Lynn Bick­ley had 16 kills and 22 digs as the Ring­gold Lady Tigers spiked Hart County in the open­ing round of the Class AAA volleyball tour­na­ment. (Photo by Court­ney Couey/Ring­gold Tiger Shots)

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.