Volleyball swings for regionals
Franklin County Times
The Russellville High School varsity volleyball team played its last regular-season match last week, but the Lady Golden Tigers still have at least one more match to play.
Russellville (11-18, 2-4) is seeded No. 3 in the Class 5A, Area 16 single-elimination tournament hosted by Muscle Shoals, where the Lady Golden Tigers were scheduled to play No. 2 Decatur Tuesday.
"It's been at least 15 years since Russellville made it to regionals," Russellville coach Charlotte Dollar said. "Decatur has a really strong hitter, and we'll have to stop her. And we'll need everyone to hit and serve well, and get good passing from the back."
A win over the Lady Red Raiders, a team Russellville defeated this season at the Florence High School tournament but lost to twice in area play, will qualify the Lady Golden Tigers for a spot in the area championship match, where their opponent will most likely be No. 1 Muscle Shoals, who must beat No. 4 Athens to advance.
"Lately our team has been passing better, and I'm hoping that will affect our hitting," Dollar said. "We would have to play a near-perfect game to beat Muscles Shoals (for the area championship)."
The top two teams in the area tournament will earn a trip to Saturday's single-elimination regional tournament to be hosted by a Scottsboro-area school.
Russellville will depend heavily on the power hitting of sophomore Erin Reynolds and junior Cassie Montgomery, who are usually set up by senior setters Calli Davis and Anne-Marie Hall.
The Lady Golden Tigers will also rotate in libero Halie Harvey, middle hitter Ariel Howard, outside hitter Kayla King, right hitters Lindsey Gardner, Derryl Gardner and Stacy Garner, defensive specialist Loren Sorrells and setter Allison Martin, along with Jakora Hamilton, Sam Lawson, Irma Lopez.
Dollar is taking a low-key approach to this year's postseason after last season's talented squad didn't make it to regionals.
"Last season I probably put too much pressure on them to get to regionals, so this year I'm trying to make sure we focus on winning one match at a time," Dollar said. "We just need to have an attitude of 'Go in and have fun, and let's win and move on.'"