Matches against teams in higher classifications and out-of-state powers mixed in with players searching for the right mix and identity to follow winning the Class AA state championship.
But with a pair of wins Tuesday, including a hard-fought sweep of Class 4A LaFayette, Coosa head coach Nic Hann feels like his team has turned a corner. And with area play starting next week, it’s right on time.
The Lady Eagles picked up a 26-24, 25-20 victory over the Lady Ramblers first before putting away Adairsville 25-10, 25-17 in the nightcap at the Eagles’ Nest.
Coosa had lost five of their last seven matches before picking up wins over Chattooga and Armuchee last Thursday. LaFayette came in Tuesday with a 20-2 record before the Lady Eagles pulled out the victory.
“It’s a huge win for us. We knew they were a good team and that we would have to battle,” Hann said. “I feel like this was a statement win for us. We’ve played a lot of good teams the last couple of weeks and come up short.”
While several starters from last year’s state championship team continue to contribute this season, Hann said this year’s group is very balanced, giving them a varied attack.
“I feel we have so many weapons across the net,” he said. “It’s not just one person who can put away a kill. There are a few different girls who can provide us with some power up front and that’s something we’ve never really had.”
Kasey Thacker led Coosa with 19 kills combined in both matches, along with 13 digs. Jordan Roberts had seven kills, seven digs and two aces against Adairsville.
Sarah Arrant and Ashlee Bailey each had five kills against LaFayette, while Brinley Smith finished with 21 assists in each match to go with eight digs, three aces and three kills on the day.
The Lady Eagles appeared to have the advantage early in Tuesday’s first set before LaFayette pushed them and tied the score at 14-14. The Lady Ramblers pulled back even with Coosa at 24-all before the hosts picked up the final two points to take the set.
Coosa (13-5) came out strong in the second set and went on a 10-2 run that eventually led to a 21-14 lead before the home team closed it out.