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Callaway soaring into new season

HOGANSVILLE – The Callaway High volleyball team jumped into a new season with a pair of hard-fought home matches on Thursday.

In the day’s first match, Callaway fell to Villa Rica 25-14 and 27-25.

Later in the day, Callaway won the first set 25-15 against Pike County, but it dropped the next two sets 25-14 and 25-17.

“We’ve played them the last few years,” Callaway coach Heather Smith said of Villa Rica and Pike County. “You get the cobwebs off, and get their minds going.”

In the Villa Rica match, after dropping the first set, Callaway was getting blown out in the second set when it rallied.

Callaway was down big in the second set, but it made it all the way back to take the lead before Villa Rica finished things off by winning three straight points.

“They played their hearts out,” Smith said of her players.

Alicia Marks had an ace to give Callaway a 22-21 lead in the second set, and it remained tight the rest of the way.

Callaway also led 24-23 and 25-24 in the second set, but Villa Rica made a few plays at the end to secure the win.

“We were very pleased with our first game,” Smith said. “The scoreboard is not what I care about right now. It’s about building communication, and team work, so we did a great job that first game.”

Smith said Marks excelled in the service game in both matches.

Looking ahead to the season, Smith will be counting on team captains Jasemine Drake and Bailey Bowles to lead the way, and Breanne Moncus and Alexis Garner also provide a veteran presence.

“We’ve had a lot of girls coming back, and they’re willing to step up and help,” Smith said.

Drake, a senior, said all of the players are on the same page.

“We feel like this year we’ll be better as a team,” she said. “We’ll work more together, be able to communicate well with each other, and just get things done.”

Callaway will have two more matches today in Columbus.

Callaway will play Brooks County as well as the host Spencer team, and that will be an area match.

Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports

Callaway’s Alicia Marks goes up to block a shot during Thursday’s match against Villa Rica. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_volleyball1-2.jpgCallaway’s Alicia Marks goes up to block a shot during Thursday’s match against Villa Rica. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
Callaway opened the season with two hard-fought matches against Villa Rica and Pike County. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
http://lagrangenews.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/web1_volleyball2-2.jpgCallaway opened the season with two hard-fought matches against Villa Rica and Pike County. Kevin Eckleberry | Daily News
Volleyball team at home for opener

By Kevin Eckleberry

keckleberry@civitasmedia.com