Starting a new program with players who for the most part have never played on the same team is a daunting task. In volleyball, it takes time to know where your teammates are going to be and how they will react in certain situations.
That was evident Tuesday night at the Mack Gaston Community Center as Dalton State College lost to Brenau University 3-1. Seemingly lacking rhythm from the start and having difficulty generating offense off of Brenau’s serve, the Roadrunners lost 25-20, 25-15, 23-25, 25-15.
“Our communication has to get better because it isn’t where I want it to be,” Dalton State coach Bruna Langner said. “I thought our chemistry wasn’t the best tonight. It is still a work in progress and no one expected the girls to click overnight. We have our ups and our downs.”
In the first game, Brenau scored five of its last six points from unforced errors. The trend continued in the second game with nine Brenau points coming off of Dalton State (4-8) mistakes. Fortunately for the Roadrunners, Brenau was in a giving mood in the third game as 11 of the Roadrunners’ 25 points were taken on unforced errors.
“We don’t seem to have enough emotion,” said freshman Savannah Nelson, who led the team with nine kills and four blocks. “I have always played with my heart, and we need more passion out here. Starting with a new program is one of the most frustrating and difficult things I have ever done. We are all new and we are coming into a program where no one is in a position to tell you this is how we do something or this is what you need to know.”
In the second game, Carly Newman, who finished with eight kills and three blocks, tied the game at 7 with a kill, but the Golden Tigers (6-10) scored the next six points. That was a familiar storyline for the Roadrunners. In the first game, Dalton State trailed 11-10 when Brenau went on a 9-3 run to stretch out into a comfortable lead. The Roadrunners were tied at 8 in the final game when the Golden Tigers went on another 9-3 run.
Dalton State returns to action at 11 a.m. Saturday at the Mack Gaston Community Center against Virginia Intermont College. Admission to the match is free.
n Playing on a different course during the second and final round of the Chick-fil-A Collegiate Invitational in Rome, the men’s golf team finished six strokes worse as a team but moved up a spot to finished tied for fourth with a two-day total of 592.
The 11-over-par score saw the Roadrunners tied with Marian (Ind.) University. The top three teams separated themselves from the field. Third-place Spring Hill College (Ala.) was 13 strokes ahead of the Roadrunners with Oglethorpe University shooting a 576 to beat St. Andrews Presbyterian (N.C.) by two strokes.
For Oglethorpe, former Dalton golfer Will Morrow shot a 2-under 70 and finished the tournament at even and was tied for fifth.
After opening on the Coosa Country Club course on Monday, the Roadrunners played the Stonebridge Golf Club in the final round.
Levi Nix was the top finisher for Dalton State, following up Monday’s opening 74 with a 73 to finish tied for 13th. Tyler Mitchell finished with 148 to tie for 18th. Chase Jones shot a second-day 79 to finish a shot behind Mitchell, and Thomas Rimel shot back-to-back 75s. Anthony D’Angelo finished with a 151.
The Roadrunners will play in the Skyhawk Fall Classic at Paris Landing State Park in Buchanan, Tenn. on Monday and Tuesday.