LaGrange wins first event in new gym
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
There was some suspense, but the LaGrange High volleyball team took care of business on an historic day.
In the first varsity sports event in the school’s new gymnasium, LaGrange and Haralson County mixed it up in a hard-fought match on Tuesday evening.
After the teams split the first two sets, LaGrange started quickly in the third set and rolled to a 15-8 victory to secure the win.
“They dug in, and they worked as a team,” said Tejay Dowden, LaGrange’s first-year head coach. “I told them this is our new house, and we have to defend it, so they came out and got their second wind.”
LaGrange had played its previous home matches in the old gymnasium, and Dowden said everyone was anxious to get into the new facility.
“We have been so looking forward and excited for this, especially the seniors,” Dowden said. “They wanted to experience it, so we’re glad we got to get in here. We’re glad we got to play.”
LaGrange will be at home again on Wednesday against Smiths Station, and seniors Carmen Lynch, Abby Norton, Lindsey Ransone and Hayleigh Sebaugh will be recognized before the match begins at 7 p.m.
In Tuesday’s match, LaGrange won the first set 25-21, and Haralson County bounced back for a 25-21 win in set two.
After a short break the teams returned to the court for the third set, and LaGrange surged to a 10-0 lead with Lauren Park serving.
After Haralson County got its first point, Park had back-to-back kills to push the lead to 12-1.
Haralson County hung tough got and went on a 6-0 run to get within five, but LaGrange regained control and won going away.
In the opening set, LaGrange built a 6-0 lead with Park serving, but Haralson County got within three at 9-6.
Thanks to some stellar serving by Danasha Lewis, LaGrange scored the next five points to go ahead 14-6, but Haralson County fought back and took a 15-14 lead.
With momentum going Haralson’s way, LaGrange’s Azaleah Straughn made a nice dig that set up a Katy Beth Bedingfield kill, and the match was tied.
Lynch had a block to put the Grangers back on top, and Bedingfield then had back-to-back service winners to extend the lead to 18-15.
After Haralson County got within one, Eiland had two straight kills, and Lewis finished things off with consecutive blocks as LaGrange won 25-21.
In the second set, LaGrange again got off to a fast start with five straight points, and it led 7-1 on a Lewis kill.
Another Lewis kill gave the Grangers an 8-2 lead, and an Eiland winner made it a 13-7 score.
Haralson County, just as it did in the first set, clawed its way back and pulled even at 15-15 before an Eiland winner temporarily reversed the slide for LaGrange.
Haralson County scored the next two points to reclaim the lead, and it didn’t look back and won the set 25-21 to force a winner-take-all third set.