Two area volleyball teams saw their seasons come to an end in the Area 8-A/AA tournament at the East Hall Community Center on Thursday.
East Hall was eliminated by Prince Avenue Christian (25-18, 25-20), while Lakeview Academy was bounced by Hart County (25-15, 25-8).
Down one game to none in the elimination match, East Hall took the first six points from Prince Avenue and appeared on its way to a third-game tiebreaker.
Prince Avenue, however, slowly clawed back into the game, taking its first lead at 10-9, and going on to win the match.
The Lady Vikings’ (21-26, 4-4 8-A/AA) loss eliminated them from the tournament and ended a record-setting season for the program. The team won more games than any in school history.
“We made too many mistakes,” Vikings coach Ted Deppe said. “We had too many hitting errors, too many passing errors, and that’s what beat us. Our errors — we just made too many.”
Deppe commended Prince Avenue’s ability to control the ball during the game.
“They’re a ball-control team,” he said. “They have some decent hitters, but they control the ball well. They’ll play defense against you, and then that’s when we made too mistakes.”
Leading the Lady Vikings in the losing effort was Latisha Shelton (12 digs), Tarryn Long (six kills) and Brittany Campbell (seven assists).
Despite the loss and the team’s inability to reach the goal of making the state playoffs, Deppe was uplifted with the team’s improvement this season and sees a lot of room to continue that growth next season.
To follow up its record-setting year, East Hall will return all of its starters in 2012.
“It’s definitely a stepping stone for us,” Deppe said. “We had three or four girls break individual school records this year, and being another year older and another year stronger next year will hopefully help us make next year our year to do something.”
For Lakeview Academy (18-16, 5-3 8-A/AA), a lopsided score didn’t accurately reflect the competition on the floor. A number of long rallies in the first game ended in points for Hart County, a team playing its fifth match in two days.
In the end, the Lady Lions allowed runs of seven and 10 points to start the second game, falling behind 17-2 to effectively end any chance they had of forcing a third game.
Lady Lions coach Karen Towles had difficulty voicing her feelings about the match and the season.
“I’m kind of at a loss for words. They’re a very disciplined club,” she said of Hart County. “Whenever we made an adjustment on defense, they would make an adjustment on offense. They found our holes and picked us apart on defense.”
The Lady Lions were led by Katie White (5 kills), Megan McIntire (4 assists) and Katie Zottnick (3 digs).
It was a disappointing end to a season that began with much promise for the Lady Lions.
“We have a lot of girls that have been playing together many years,” Towles said. “They had hoped to go further this year.
Going into next year, Towles hopes that the experience these girls gained this year will help them progress as a unit. The team will graduate seven seniors, but had four underclassmen get significant playing time this season. She also noted a strong junior varsity team that will provide talent for varsity in the future.
“We’ve got a lot of young talent,” she said. “Hopefully they can continue to improve next season.”