Northwest Whitfield High School's volleyball squad visited their cross-county rivals as part of a tri-match at Dalton High Monday night, and the Lady Bruins escaped with a 2-1 win in a three-set battle.
The Lady Bruins (13-3) and Lady Catamounts (13-12) faced off after each suffered a setback to East Hamilton earlier in the evening. Visiting from Ooltewah, Tennessee, East Hamilton needed two sets to down Dalton and three to get past Northwest.
Dalton jumped to a fast start in the first set, leading 4-1 before Northwest battled back. Dalton held Northwest at bay until the Lady Bruins took their first advantage of the set at 16-15. The two exchanged the lead a few times, but Northwest managed to pull away at the end, and an Emma Allen spike sealed the first frame 25-23.
In the second set, it was Dalton's turn to play from behind. Utilizing a 6-0 run, Northwest got out to a 13-7 lead and appeared to be headed for the two-set victory. Dalton closed to within two with an 8-2 spurt, and caught up to tie the set at 23. Thanks to a couple of points from Ahdaysia Johnson, Dalton took the second set 25-23.
In the tiebreaker set, Northwest again took a lead, but Dalton couldn't catch up this time.
The Lady Cats briefly leveled it at 7-7 after a slim Northwest margin held through the first few points, but then a 6-1 stretch doomed Dalton. An Allen serve clinched the set 15-11 and secured the match for Northwest.
It was a stronger showing from Dalton after the Lady Cats were on the wrong side of a one-sided match when playing Northwest earlier this season. Prior to the setback against East Hamilton, Dalton came into the night having won seven straight, including a 5-0 day at a tournament Saturday at Coahulla Creek High School, where Dalton didn't drop a set on the way to the tournament title.
In that tournament, senior libero (defensive specialist) Searany De La Cerda recorded her 1,000th career dig. De La Cerda, the starting libero at Dalton since her freshman season, is the first in Dalton history to reach that mark. She's the second player from a school in Whitfield County to accomplish the feat this season. Christian Heritage School's Amelia White reached 1,000 last month.
De La Cerda added to that total Monday, keeping alive several balls destined for the floor to help fuel Catamount comebacks. Dalton's Ava Davey had 18 assists, nine kills, five aces and two blocks, while Gracie Ridley had 15 kills and six assists. Jolie Wingfield had five blocks and three kills.
Allen led the way for Northwest with 19 kills, 12 assists and four blocks. Emma Hayes had 17 digs and 12 kills, while Whitley Chumley had 32 digs and five aces. Allie Anderson tallied 21 assists.
Dalton plays tonight at Carrollton with a tri-match against the host Trojans and Paulding County. Northwest has a home Area 7-4A tri-match with Cedartown and Pickens at the same time.
In high school sports action Monday night:
Heritage 21, Southeast Whitfield 1
Heritage 15, Southeast Whitfield 0
Southeast Whitfield (0-16) fell in both games of a Region 7-4A doubleheader at Ringgold's Heritage (8-0) Monday night.
The Lady Raiders were held to one hit and one run in a 21-1 defeat in the first game. In the bottom of the first, Southeast's Avery Skyles reached base on a single, then managed to reach third and come around to score on fielding errors later in the inning. That tied the game at one run apiece, but it was all Heritage from there.
Heritage added 13 in the fourth inning before the game was called after four innings.
In the second game, the Lady Raiders managed three hits, but couldn't slow down the Heritage bats, falling 15-0.
Skyles, Vanessa Harrison and Lauren Taylor all recorded hits for Southeast in the three-inning game, with Taylor booming a triple.
Southeast plays tonight with another region doubleheader, hosting Pickens at 4:30.
Coahulla Creek 9, North Murray 5
Coahulla Creek (5-8) scored the game's final four runs to break a tie and down North Murray (5-12-1) 9-5 in Chatsworth on Monday.
The game was tied at five after two North Murray runs in the bottom of the fourth inning. The game remained gridlocked until the sixth, when Coahulla Creek's Emily Wood put a ball in play than allowed Caroline Reed to score. The Lady Colts added three more runs in the seventh, and the Lady Mountaineers were unable to answer.
Steahl Smith was the complete-game pitcher for Coahulla Creek, allowing just two hits and striking out 10. North Murray's Charley Patton went the whole way too, striking out three.
Smith also had a stellar day at the plate, finishing 3-of-4 with a double and three RBIs. Wood tallied two RBIs and Katie Bagley was 2-for-4 and drove in a run.
North Murray's Abby Young was 2-for-4 with an RBI, and Janna Baggett belted a double.
Coahulla Creek hosts Adairsville tonight at 5:30, while North Murray travels across town to take on rival Murray County at the same time.
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