The 2013 season was highlighted by Cartersville reaching the state playoffs, Adairsville posting its first 20-win record in school history, and both Woodland and Cass rallying during their area tournaments to almost make the state playoffs.
The Lady Canes finished 15-22, partially due to a difficult out-of-area schedule. They let the losses carry over into area play where they finished the regular season in last place.
However, Cartersville had a better team than its record indicated. The team went 7-0 against Bartow County rivals, including winning the Bartow County championship in September and came in second during the area tournament.
The Lady Canes were eliminated in the first round of the state playoffs against Buford, but improved immensely since their rough start.
Adairsville had a very different season than Cartersville. The Lady Tigers got off to a roaring start and got their 20th win during the county championship. They finished fourth in the area during the regular season.
However, injuries slowed the team down and Adairsville did not finish the season strong, losing both games in the area tournament to not reach the state tournament.
The team finished with a 20-15 record.
Woodland, on the other hand, improved over the course of the season and came within one game of reaching the state playoffs. The Lady Wildcats came into the season with an inexperienced group and lost five starters from last year’s squad.
As a result, the team got off to a rough start, beginning the season 4-25. Woodland played much better in its area schedule, however, and finished in second place during the county championship. The team’s record was 4-6 in the area and 13-31 overall.
Cass battled inconsistency the entire season en route to a fifth-place finish in the area.
The Lady Colonels went through winning streaks and losing streaks, but came within one game of reaching the state playoffs. First-year coach Alicen Webster was coaching a young team that improved throughout the year.
As always, the season was highlighted by some impressive individual performances.
Player of the year
Cartersville was the only team to make the state tournament and had the highest finish in its region. The Lady Canes went undefeated against the other Bartow County teams, and the primary attribute that made them successful was its offensive attack. Senior Katie O’Connor was a huge reason why. O’Connor played some time at outside hitter, but was primarily a middle hitter for Cartersville.
She led the county in blocks with 44. She had a .312 hitting percentage and 42.7 kill percentage to go along with 58 aces from the service line and a 76.3 serve percentage. She added 11 digs on the year.
“Katie was our go-to hitter and led the team both on and off the court,” Cartersville head coach Camille Spradley said. “She brought a more competitive level to our team make-up.”
O’Connor was also named MVP of the county championship.
Zina Chatman — Adairsville
The senior setter was a four-year starter for the Lady Tigers. She led the team in aces with 67 and assists with 137. She also contributed 29 kills and 35 digs.
Amber Litteral — Adairsville
The junior middle hitter is a three-year starter who has already made two all-area teams and was a member of the Bartow County All-Tournament team. She set the school record with 114 kills and added 30 blocks. She also contributed 56 aces, seven assists and 31 digs on the year.
“[Litteral was] a huge part of our success this year as she took over the role of our go-to hitter,” Adairsville head coach David Adams said. “Her stats are even more impressive when you realize she’s only 5-foot-7 as a middle hitter. She plays big.”
Sydney Sumners — Adairsville
The Lady Tigers’ identity was of a scrappy defensive team. Sumners embodied that identity with her play. She led the team in digs for the second consecutive season with 157. She also led the county. Sumners is a three-year starter, was an all-area selection last season and made the second team this year. She contributed 38 aces, two blocks and 17 assists.
“A true dual threat, Sydney will beat you on defense and hurt you on offense,” Adams said. “She plays with the heart of a champion. She routinely dig balls that other players fear to touch. She rarely comes off the court and is a rock solid player. She sets a superior standard for the rest of the team to emulate.”
Shelbi Farr — Cartersville
The Lady Canes had excellent hitters, but even the best hitters need a quality setter. Farr took over the position in 2013 and helped O’Connor and Murray rack up kills. She had 231 assists and 55 digs for Cartersville. She also was consistent from the service line, posting a 90.5 serve percentage and 36 aces. In addition, she was named to the all-tournament team during the Bartow County championship.
“Shelbi did a great job for us this season as a first-year setter,” Spradley said. “She stepped up, learned the position and ran our offense.”
Asia Murray — Cartersville
Murray’s play was another reason Cartersville’s offense was so strong this season. The junior had a .137 hitting percentage, 30.3 kill percentage. She also had 47 aces and a 76.7 serve percentage to go along with 15 total blocks and 28 digs.
“Asia makes a huge impact on our team and inspires the other players to play harder, move faster and jump higher,” Spradley said.
Mallory Walker — Cartersville
While O’Connor and Murray helped give Cartersville the edge at the net, Walker was getting the job done at the service line. The senior libero led the team with 90 digs and 385 service receptions. She added 24 aces and a 95.2 serve percentage.
“Mallory was our most effective server this season as well as our defensive leader on the court,” Spradley said. “If the ball is coming, she is there waiting on it.”
Zakaria Linley — Cass
The senior libero racked up plenty of digs during the season despite not being at her best. Linley fought a hand injury, particularly hard to overcome as a libero, and held down the Lady Colonels’ defense.
Marissa Dubose — Woodland
The senior leader for the Lady Wildcats was Dubose. Her leadership helped Woodland improve and kept the team from losing focus even when the team got off to a rough start. The outside hitter tallied 171 kills, 107 digs, 58 aces, 38 blocks and 12 assists. Woodland head coach David Condon called Dubose “the most consistent player all season.” She was selected to the all-area second team in recognition of her efforts.
Jacquelyn Campbell — Woodland
Playing out of position, the Lady Wildcats’ junior setter dished out 319 assists this season, the most in the county. With roots as a defensive specialist, she also tallied 72 digs. She helped the team offensively, as well, with her 45 aces and 32 kills.
“She’s really a libero but she’s our best setter, so she filled in great for us,” Condon said.
Sydney Boyd — Woodland
The junior was one of the players who improved the most for Woodland and her development coincided with the Lady Wildcats’ improvement as a team. Boyd tallied 72 aces, 57 kills, 111 digs and 11 assists. Condon called Boyd “our best server,” thanks to her 86.32 serve percentage.
Honorable Mention: Adairsville — Erin Atkins, Kaylee Litteral. Cartersville — Ashlyn Warner, Kaylee Shelton, Kameron Hendrix, Kady King, Mallory Walker. Cass — Lacey Furrow, Janee Callahan, Pamela Cox, Ashanti Solomon. Woodland — Karlie Abernathy, Aubri Branch, Mary Katherine Grimes.