As a result, the Lady Tigers had some momentum behind them and continued their strong season Thursday with wins over Cass and Armuchee.
“We really played well tonight,” Adairsville head coach David Adams said. “We have Kaylee Litteral, who just came off injury. She had a broken finger, so we had to work her back in and she’s rusty and she hasn’t really worked with the girls.
“We also got some of the sophomores playing time, so at any point in time, we had a roughness about us that hasn’t been there the previous matches, but overall, pretty good.”
Adairsville defeated Cass in the first match in two sets by scores of 25-16 and 25-11. Cass jumped out to an early 6-0 lead in the first set, but Adairsville was able to storm back with 10 straight points midway through the set with Litteral at the service line.
“It’s a game of streaks and sometimes it doesn’t go your way,” Adams said of Cass’ early run. “If you can just maintain your calm it will come back to us and you can get through it and we did. We did a good job of taking it to them after that deep hole.”
Cass’ Maddie Weeks went down with an injury after celebrating a point during the Lady Colonels’ run and Cass head coach Alicen Webster believes that sucked some of the energy out of her team.
“I think energy is the main issue,” Webster said of her team. “If their energy is down, they really struggle. If their energy is up, then they do really well.”
Overall, Webster was still pleased with her team’s effort.
“They played pretty even with Adairsville so I was happy about that,” Webster said. “We have Rosa [Pajarito], our libero, she played really well defensively getting the balls in the back.”
“[Pajarito] was serving us all night long. She did really well for Cass,” Adams said. “Cass has gotten a lot better since the last time we played them. They haven’t been getting the results, but they are improving and so we expected that, and it’s always Cass. We want to beat them. They want to beat us. It’s a Bartow County rivalry.”
Cass started off slowly in the next match against Armuchee, losing the first 10 points of the first set. Cass came back and, at one point, brought the score as close as 21-20. However, Armuchee pulled away and won the next four points for a 25-20 first set win.
“The first set, their energy at the beginning was, like, dead,” Webster said. “So we got down 10-0 and then we matched them point to point and we ended up losing 25-20, so we came back, but obviously with that lead, it was kind of hard.”
Armuchee would go on to win the second set by a score of 25-16.
“We had Emily Schubert, who stepped in [for Weeks]. She looked nervous at first, but she stepped in really well and got some blocks,” Webster said. “Ashley Huskins played well. She plays all the way around. She plays basically anywhere I need her to be.”
Adairsville then took on Armuchee in the final match of the day and the Lady Tigers took both sets, 25-12 and 25-19.
At one point in the first set, Adairsville won 10 straight points to take a 22-10 advantage while Emily Sexauer was serving. Sexauer had five service aces in the match.
“Armuchee was an unknown quantity so we went with the more veteran group, but that one was a lot tougher,” Adams said of the match. “They’re hard to score against. They seemed to be having some problems. They looked fatigued after their match with Cass and we wanted to take advantage of that.”
The second set was the toughest of the day for Adairsville after taking a 21-14 lead. Armuchee then ran off four points to get back in the match, but the Lady Tigers would respond, winning three of the last four points.
“We kind of had a little rough edge there in the second set against Armuchee,” Adams said. “We had a little communication problem and we didn’t let it go for three or four points, but we had a big enough lead that it didn’t hurt us too much.”
Sydney Sumners finished with five kills in the match and Amber Litteral had four.
Adairsville is now 10-1 on the year and will play again Saturday in the Rockmart Tournament.