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Girls Athlete of the Week: North Hall's Tricia Dial
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Honor Roll

Soccer

Nicole Ball, North Georgia Christian: Tallied two goals and two assists in a win against Creekside Christian on Thursday.

Elexa Bahr, Buford: Recorded a hat trick in a win against Decatur last Tuesday. Finished with six goals in a win against West Hall on Friday.

Hartley Carter, Gainesville: Scored four goals in a win against Salem on Friday.

Mary Catherine Dempsey, Gainesville: Scored a pair of goals and had an assist against Salem on Friday.

Karolina Guzman, Johnson: Tallied two goals and an assist in a win against Lumpkin County last Tuesday.

Rachel MacLagan, North Georgia Christian: Scored four goals in a win against Cumberland Christian on Friday.

Alexis Rebollar, Chestatee: Recorded two goals in a win against Walnut Grove on Friday.

Cindy Villatoro, East Hall: Scored a pair of goals in a loss to Monroe Area last Tuesday before scoring a hat trick in a win against Banks County on Friday.

Anna Youmans, Gainesville: Recorded a hat trick and an assist in a win against Salem on Friday.

Tennis

Kelsey McCray, North Hall: Earned 6-0, 6-0 win against East Hall on Thursday and a win against Holy Innocents’ on Saturday at the Granger Invitational Tournament in LaGrange.

Natalie Oxley, North Hall: Picked up a win against Banks County on Tuesday, a 6-0, 6-0 win against East Hall on Thursday, and a win against Calhoun on Saturday at the Granger Invitational Tournament in LaGrange.

Madison Smith, Flowery Branch: Recorded a 6-0, 6-0 win at No. 3 singles against Apalachee last Tuesday.

Kaitlyn Smith/Hannah Gibson, North Hall: Picked up a win against Banks County on Tuesday, a 6-0, 6-0 win against East Hall on Thursday, and a win against Holy Innocents’ on Saturday at the Granger Invitational Tournament in LaGrange.

Courtney Barnes/McKay Higginbotham, North Hall: Recorded a win against Banks County on Tuesday, a 6-0, 6-0 win against East Hall on Thursday, and a win against Holy Innocents’ on Saturday at the Granger Invitational Tournament in LaGrange.

Riflery

Amy Delgado, Gainesville: Shot a 290 out of 300 to qualify for the individual state tournament and led Gainesville to the Area 6 Championship last Wednesday in Lilburn.

North Hall sophomore Tricia Dial loves tennis because not only does it give her the gratification of winning as a team, it also allows her to see personal success when she wins a singles match.

Dial has been playing for five years, but she feels that tennis is her sport because it’s difficult on an individual level.

“It’s a hard sport to play,” she said. “Anytime you get a win it’s a great accomplishment, and it feels better when you win because you know that you did it.”

Dial has seen her fair share of wins this season, going undefeated through eight matches so far this season, which she said is the biggest accomplishment in her career.

Last week, Dial got a win against Banks County on Tuesday, a 6-0, 6-0 win against East Hall on Thursday, and a pair of wins against Calhoun and Holy Innocents’ on Saturday at the Granger Invitational Tournament in LaGrange.

For her efforts, Dial is The Times Girls Athlete of the Week.

In LaGrange, Dial faced opponents from larger classifications, but she said that going in with confidence helped her play well.

“They were really hard matches, and beating those opponents were really great wins for me,” she said.

When she first started, however, Dial wasn’t motivated by the sport itself to give it a try.

“A lot of my friends played, so I decided to pick up a racket,” she said. “I really liked it from the beginning. I love to play matches.”

Almost immediately, Dial developed a love for the sport and tried to find ways to further her skills. She plays for a club tennis team along with participating in the Chattahoochee Country Club’s tennis academy, something she said has helped her immensely.

“I’ve definitely gotten better at my backhand, and of course, my serves have improved,” Dial said.

There’s one thing that playing on club teams can’t really compare to, however, and that’s competing against local high schools as a team. She said the most important thing playing for North Hall has been getting experience.

“I’ve gained a lot of experience, so when I go to a tournament, I’m not scared,” Dial said. “I know how to not be as nervous now.”

Dial said that the weekend’s tournament was not only fun for her because she won, but also because she got to spend time with the Lady Trojans team.

“We really got to bond as a team,” she said.

Having a strong bond is crucial to Dial and her team because she and the rest of the sophomores are the oldest ones. Dial said that there isn’t much pressure in the position, however, because the team is close and everyone supports each other.

“They help you when you’re down and cheer for you, and having them on the side of the court is one of the best feelings,” Dial said. “I like it because you’re somebody they get to look up to, so it forces you to be your best.”

The team has also helped her improve the mental aspect of her game so that she doesn’t get discouraged if she is down in a set.

“When you get down in a set or you’re losing, you get mad at yourself and it’s hard to get out of that,” Dial said. “When I used to get down in a match I used to completely shut down, but now I have better mental stability.”

Dial will use her stable mentality when she faces what she believes is her toughest region opponent in Buford on Thursday.

“Buford has an outstanding team, and they’re always really tough to beat,” she said. “I think we have a really great team and I think we can do it.”

Until then, she will focus on fine-tuning her game to be at her best later this week.

“I need to work on extending through my forehand and working on a lot of angles and hitting harder,” Dial said.

For the future, however, Dial has bigger goals outside of region matches.

“I really want to improve my state ranking and national ranking so I’m going to be playing a lot of tournaments to do that.”

Regional events