Lady Tigers open state playoffs Wednesday at home
Adairsville volleyball head coach Patricia McPhee refers to part of her team’s 2016 season as a ‘roller coaster ride’, but she has the Lady Tigers in the enviable position of hosting an opening round match in the Class AAA state tournament Wednesday when they entertain Ringgold.
Adairsville, who heads into the state playoffs with a 19-24-3 record, lost in the Area 1-AAA championship match to Sonoraville 25-21, 25-19 last Saturday, but the Lady Tigers took care of business with a pair of match wins that propelled them into that area finals match.
(Photo Credit: Louis Tonsmeire, Tonsmeire Studio Professional Photography)
The Lady Tigers opened the Area Tournament last Thursday with a three-set win over Bremen. The Blue Devils took the opening set 25-19 before Adairsville rallied for a 25-17, 25-19 win that ensured them of a state playoffs berth from Area 1-AAA.
Then on Saturday after a narrow three-set loss to the eventual champs (22-25, 25-21, 21-25), the Lady Tigers dispatched Haralson County in two straight sets, 25-23, 25-16 for a championship round rematch with Sonoraville that was taken by the Phoenix in straight sets.
The Lady Tigers have been led all season by seniors Chloe Powell and Sierra Matthews. Powell is a setter and right side hitter who leads the team in service percentage, service aces, and is second in total assists. She also has a kill percentage of 66 percent. Matthews is an aggressive, outside hitter leading the Lady Tigers with 2.4 kills per game.
“They (Powell and Matthews) are the players the team looks to when we need a spark to get back on track,” said McPhee praising her two senior captains.
Middle hitter, Josie Summerville, has also been an impact player for the Lady Tigers. She leads the team in blocks and is second on the team in service percentage and digs per game. “Josie is always a threat from that middle position,” added McPhee. “She has contributed some timely kills and blocks throughout the season.”
McPhee was happy her team was ready to play in the area tournament.
“We started the season strong at the Rockmart Tournament, finishing third, but as the season progressed we had our roller coaster moments — as I call them. We were really good at times and just flat at others. I’m pleased we came out ready to play last Thursday and it carried over into Saturday,” noted the Lady Tigers’ coach.
McPhee also was proud of her team’s performance in the pressures of tournament play. “The first loss to Sonoraville on Saturday threw us off a bit. The girls played with a lot of intensity, but we were able to bounce back against Haralson County following a slow start to get back to the area championship game,” said McPhee. “We played well. I am proud of my players. The girls gave it all they had. I can’t ask for more than that.”
The Adairsville coach also had praise for the area champion Lady Phoenix. “Sonoraville is a very good team and well coached,” she added.
Adairsville will host the first round of the GHSA Class AAA state playoffs Wednesday at 5pm against Ringgold.
The remainder of the Lady Tigers top contributers this season include Chloe Cochran, Taylor Camp, and Nakiyah Washington. Aleah Abernathy, Victoria Worthington, and Emily Green round out the roster.
“We are excited to be hosting the first round of the state tournament,” McPhee closed.