Playing in the first ever Battle of the Counties tournament, the Darlington Lady Tigers went undefeated to win the trophy.
“We played really well,” Darlington community coach Aaron Wilton said. “It’s still early in the season but from the first match until now we have improved a lot. They all have got better.”
Darlington opened the eight team tournament by defeating Pepperell. After downing Rome in a winner’s bracket contest, the Lady Tigers swept Rockmart in the semifinals 25-17, 25-9.
After Rockmart bounced back to defeat Rome 25-16, 25-22 to advance to the title game, Darlington won the tournament by taking down the Lady Jackets 25-6, 25-21.
“This was definitely a team effort,” Wilton said about winning the tournament.
However, Wilton also noted the play of a trio of Lady Tigers.
“Freshman Sydney Arthur is our setter and she set pretty good today,” Wilton said. “Reeves Trivitte is playing a new position at outside hitter and I thought she was really consistent today. Sam Horton played really well also. She passed and served well and was very consistent throughout the tournament.”
Rockmart, the tournament host, finished the day with three wins and two losses. Rockmart defeated Coosa, Model and Rome, before losing to Darlington twice.
“We came out slow and I thought that we would,” Rockmart head coach Robert Torline said. “But the girls hung in there and fought throughout the tournament. They did a good job.”
Torline said he was pleased with the tournament.
“This was an awesome first Battle of the Counties tournament,” Torline said. “Everyone loved it.This is just a positive for girls volleyball.”
Despite the two setbacks to the tournament champion Lady Tigers, Torline was proud of his team.
“We played hard against Darlington,” Torline said.
Cedartown head coach Jill Dempsey also enjoyed competing in the Polk/Floyd Counties tournament.
“This is a good tournament,” Dempsey said. “It brings out a lot of supporters of girls volleyball.”
The Lady Bulldogs went 0-2 on the day, losing to Model and Coosa.
“We played good, we just didn’t win,” Dempsey said. “But every match was close.”
A lot of the teams that participated in Saturday’s tournament will now prepare to compete in next weekend’s At the Rock tournament, also hosted by Rockmart.
“We will have games next Friday and Saturday,” Torline noted.