The two teams squared off in three volleyball matches alongside Woodland at Cass high Thursday as Cartersville beat both of its opponents and Woodland took the win over Cass.
The stakes were a little higher this day because of the rivalry between the county schools.
“It’s a must,” Cartersville head coach Camille Spradley said. “I told them, ‘Losing is not an option.’ We couldn’t go back home if we lost.
“I think they especially wanted to win since we play Cass in our football game. We want to sweep Cass all weekend.”
The Lady Canes played Cass in the first match. The first set went back and forth between the two teams until Cartersville finished off strong to win by a score of 25-22.
Cartersville had a little easier time in the second set and managed to win it 25-16.
“We started off slow in the beginning and then pulled it out in the end,” senior middle hitter Katie O’Connor said. “It’s always a rivalry between us. We always win.”
O’Connor had several spikes in the match and the Canes went on a couple of runs with their senior leader at the service line.
“She did have a few good hits,” Spradley said. “She’s a big hitter and a big server for us.”
The second match saw Cartersville take on Woodland.
Spradley’s team took the momentum from its win against Cass and used it to win in two sets, 25-18 and 25-19.
Senior libero Mallory Walker took the team on a run in the first set. She was at the service line during the last five points.
The second set was more of the same with Cartersville in control throughout.
“Overall, we did really well, but we still need to work on transitioning our defense into our offense,” Spradley said.
The Lady Canes are now 3-7, but have had some tough competition this season. They also have now defeated Adairsville, Cass and Woodland this season.
“We’ve gone up against some talented teams so that we could locate our strengths and weaknesses and see where we needed to improve,” Spradley said. “We’ve had a tough season. Our record doesn’t show how well we’ve been playing all season long.”
Woodland was able to pick up a win in the final match of the day as the Lady Wildcats beat Cass in two sets, 25-18 and 25-20.
Cass has struggle for much of the season, but coach Alicen Webster saw much improved play from her team on Thursday thanks to a new strategy.
“I’m very pleased with how they played today,” Webster said of her team. “I changed things around today. We were running a 6-2, now we’re running a 5-1. Afterwards, the girls commented that that game was a lot of fun. That’s the first time they have said that all season.”
Webster also noticed a difference in her team’s mindset because of the county rivalry.
“They were definitely more focussed than they’ve been all season,” Webster said. “They haven’t been bringing the mental side and that’s been hurting us.”
Webster’s team will try to continue to improve as her team plays Tuesday at home. Cartersville will be in action that same day at Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe and Woodland will be at Rome.