The Lady Canes overpowered Cedartown in the first set, 25-8, and took a more competitive victory in the second, 25-20.
Allatoona came from behind to defeat Cartersville in the first set, 25-22, but took control relatively early in the second set and rolled to a 25-15 victory.
Cartersville 2, Cedartown 0
Camille Spradley, head volleyball coach, said Cartersville played with a lot of confidence against Cedartown and was led by Asia Murray and Ashlyn Warner.
“We were looking at the Cedartown match as a warm-up for when we played Allatoona,” she said. “We ... worked on some things we wanted to do, the type of blocking we wanted and the type of attacks that we wanted. The girls were really pumped up and excited about it. The first set against them was really good.”
She said Murray did a good job for her team at the net.
“We were wanting to set her a lot,” Spradley said. “Our idea going into it was we’re going to set our right side lefty and force them to come in against us. That worked in our favor because I don’t think they were necessarily used to blocking a lot of right-side attackers. Because we run the 6-2, we have those three people in the front that can hit.
“Also, Ashlyn Warner stepped up for us on the outside, too. She was really getting on top of the ball and sending it down.”
Allatoona 2, Cartersville 0
The Lady Canes jumped on Allatoona early in the first set and had grabbed a two-point lead when Kaylee Shelton started serving. Behind Shelton’s service, the Canes scored seven unanswered points for a 20-13 lead. Cartersville stretched its lead to 21-14 off a service by Murray but Allatoona then went on an 11-1 run — the last nine points unanswered — to close the set up 25-22.
Cartersville led briefly in the second set, up 3-0 and 5-4, but an 8-0 run gave Allatoona a 12-5 lead. Allatoona closed out the set with a 13-10 run to pick up the victory.
Spradley said Cartersville is still growing as a team and didn’t recover after making some miscues in the first set.
“They just got some momentum behind them,” she said. “We made a couple of mistakes on service and a few bad passes and we weren’t able to put the ball down as quickly as we wanted to. We’re not necessarily the scrappiest team but we’re getting better at it and working on playing defense better, rallying better and going and getting the ball that in the past we wouldn’t necessarily get.
“Once they make a few mistakes, it [got] in their head a little bit and the other team [got] the momentum back.”
She said the Lady Canes let their earlier mistakes bother them in the second set, too.
“I think that had a lot to do with [our performance] in the second set. We were still playing strong but, again, in our serve/receive it’s something we’ve struggled with all season long and something we’re working with, especially when they come at us with float serves.”
She said her team is being challenged in the preseason by design.
“We’re trying to play a lot of really strong teams ... before we go into our region in a couple of weeks. That way we’ll be even more prepared when we’re going up against Northwest Whitfield and Heritage. We know they will be the two teams that give us the most trouble, but we want to be as aggressive as we can be and on the top of our game before we get there.”
Cartersville is 5-10 this season. It begins area play Sept. 9 at Heritage, Catoosa, when it also plays LaFayette.
For the night, Warner had seven kills, three digs; Murray, nine kills, 11 digs; Catie Heilman, seven kills, six digs; Kameron Hendrix, one kill, three digs, 15 assists; Andi Prokop, 16 digs, one kill; Kate Justus, eight digs, one assist; Emma Hart, 13 assists, five digs.