Dallas County loses in area tournament, advances to super regionals

Published 10:31 pm Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Dallas County’s Amy Persinger rises over the net and attempts to tap the ball past Elmore County defenders Tuesday night during the Class 4A, Region 6 tournament at Elmore County High School.--Cory Diaz

Dallas County’s Amy Persinger rises over the net and attempts to tap the ball past Elmore County defenders Tuesday night during the Class 4A, Region 6 championship game at Elmore County High School.–Cory Diaz

By Cory Diaz

The Wetumpka Herald

Elmore County used aggressiveness and accuracy to dismantle Dallas County, en route to the 2013 Class 4A, Region 6 volleyball tournament championship—its fourth-straight area title—in straight sets 25-16, 25-16, 25-6 Tuesday at Elmore County High School.

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The Lady Panthers outhit the Lady Hornets, recording 26 kills to Dallas County’s seven. Senior Brooke Nettles and junior Melissa Geddie led Elmore County with six kills apiece, while Amy Persinger paced the Lady Hornets with three.

Experienced leadership, said ECHS coach Kimberly Moncrief, and pride of continuing their area championship streak is what propelled the Lady Panthers.

“They’ve been there before,” Moncrief said. “All of them were on the team that went to the Elite Eight two years ago. They know what it takes to get there and they jumped out there and they were great leaders.”

Dallas County overcame adversity in their second round match with the Tallassee Lady Tigers. Trailing 21-17 late, Persinger and Caitlin Moore charged their team back into the game before ultimately taking the first set 28-26. The Lady Hornets won the next two sets handily, 25-12, 25-16.

But Linda Moore’s group couldn’t find their footing against the Lady Panthers, who pulled away in each set.

“You have to believe in yourself,” Moore said. “You have to believe that you can do it. You have to believe that you can, at least, try to finish. It’s a mental thing.”

In the most competitive, first set, Elmore County led 10-8 and senior hitter Kaitlyn McCurdy, who finished with five kills and three aces, orchestrated six consecutive points on serve to put the first set out of reach.

The Lady Panther hitters continued their hot play from their second round game against Childersburg, whom they beat in four sets 25-12, 25-19, 15-25, 25-12.

Elmore County senior Patty Holley had nine kills, junior Kenya Brown had eight, and Geddie and McCurdy each had seven. Moncrief said her team’s determination seeped through their performance in both games.

“I told them at the beginning of the season that they deserve to go to regionals, they deserve to go to state and we have to take it one step at a time,” she said.

Moncrief said her team knew it had to win the first one to get the chance to move on. The second game was more for seeding purposes, but she knew her team wanted to win another area championship.

“The seniors and the upperclassmen just took control and made very few errors,” Moncrief said. “Against Dallas County, they were ready. And we got word that Dallas County was ready for us, so that made them play a little harder.”

Moore said Dallas County didn’t match the intensity that ECHS brought to the court, and that made up the difference.

“With any championship game, it’s the team that wants it the most and the team that wants to work the hardest,” Moore said. “The team that doesn’t give up is the team that’s going to come out at the end.”

Dallas County will play the Area 1 winner in the first round of the South Super Regionals at 5:30 p.m. at Cramton Bowl in Montgomery, while Elmore County will face Area 1’s runner-up at 3 p.m.