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PREP VOLLEYBALL: Rome picking up the pace to start the season strong

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A week after playing its first match of the season, Rome celebrated picking up four wins in two days, culminating with sweeps on its home court Tuesday against Chattooga and Cass, giving the Lady Wolves a 7-2 record.

Rome coach Alecia Parker said the opening week has provided a good feeling around the team.

“It’s excitement right now,” Parker said. “We’re working on being able to execute each ball so that when our opponent sends a free ball over we have the opportunity to get a kill. We are working to know who our strongest hitters are and get them set up to make plays on a consistent basis.”

Parker said they have also spent time developing new strategies and sets to put their middle hitters into position to move quicker, allowing them to change up the tempo and speed of a game.

“It’s seems like in the past we have come out a lot slower, but this year we are going after it quick, and we’re going to maintain that the whole season to reach our goals,” Parker said.

Rome performed well in the Coosa Invitational on Saturday, meeting the host Lady Eagles in the semifinals of the championship bracket and coming up short 26-24, 25-27. The Lady Wolves got back on track Monday evening at Pepperell, beating the Lady Dragons (29-27, 25-15) and the Georgia School for the Deaf.

Tuesday saw Rome get a 25-16, 25-15 win over Chattooga to start the evening. The final match had the Lady Wolves win the first set against Cass 25-18 and the second set 25-20. Rome started the second set with a 17-4 lead before the Lady Colonels pulled it together for a run.

Katie Beth Davis and Abby Hart had good stretches in service during the match with Cass, while Carol Saunders played aggressively at the net.

Davis is part of a senior class that includes Kallan Carper, Olivia Vardy and Caroline Young, and Parker said she has been encouraged by the seniors, who are taking their roles as leaders seriously, and how the younger players are responding to their constructive criticism.

“We have two freshman and two sophomores on the team, and they are stepping up and learning while also adapting well to what the seniors are telling them,” Parker said.

Rome will play again Thursday when it travels to Bremen to face the Lady Blue Devils and Alexander.