September 27, 2013

Teamwork pushes Lady Lions volleyball over Lady Bruins

Chris Whitfield

— When the Christian Heritage volleyball team dropped the first game of Thursday’s match with Northwest Whitfield, the Lady Lions weren’t worried. For them, it has seemed like throughout this season they have played their best games with their backs against the wall.

“We literally never stop,” senior setter Jessica Seehorn. “We always seem to be at our best when we are coming from behind. I don’t know what it is, but it seems as if it always takes a little while for us to get going.”

Perhaps it is just Christian Heritage’s way of lulling their opponents into a false sense of confidence.

Whatever it is, it is working.

The Lady Lions lost 25-12 to the Lady Bruins in the opener before storming back to take the final two games 25-18 and 25-17 for the win at home on senior night. In their second season of Georgia High School Association competition, the Lady Lions have a chance to beat each of their county rivals when they face Southeast Whitfield on Saturday at 9 a.m. in the Raider Rally. Christian Heritage has already beaten Dalton and Coahulla Creek (the two teams split meetings) this season.

“We are the underdogs when it comes to playing these teams,” Seehorn said. “We just want to show people that we can play really good volleyball and it is cool to have the opportunity to show them we can play with everyone around the area.”

Seehorn and fellow seniors Drew Tipton and Savannah Roberson were honored before the game, and each had a big part in the win over the Lady Bruins. With Seehorn running the offense, Tipton’s presence in the middle and Roberson’s power on the outside, it was tough for Northwest to adjust when Christian Heritage played with rhythm.

Roberson had 19 kills in the match as the Lady Lions fed her the ball whenever she was on the front row. She also had a pair of aces and four blocks.

“You hate starting slow like that because we can overcome it, it isn’t something that puts a lot of pressure on us,” Christian Heritage community coach Lisa Donahue said. “Sooner or later, that is going to be something that could hurt us.”

The fluidity for the Lady Lions (14-9) was certainly better in the second and third games than it was in the opener. Christian Heritage gave Northwest Whitfield 11 points from unforced errors in the first set, but dropped that to just five in the second game and four in the decider.

“They were moving better and communicating a lot more after that first game,” Donahue said.

Roberson agreed.

“We all have the potential to play well by ourselves, but we don’t win games if we are not playing as a team,” she said. “You can see it, and you can tell the difference when we are working together. In that first game, we didn’t move. We didn’t talk. It showed.”

The Lady Bruins (17-13) were led by Mary Kate Allen with eight kills and Whitley Brooker’s 12 assists.

“We moved well on defense the first game, but in the second and third games, our defense fell apart,” Northwest coach Jennifer Quinn said. “Mentally, we just aren’t where we need to be. We definitely need to step it up because the season is coming to the point where you want to be playing your best volleyball.”