High School Volleyball

Lady Indians strike first against Newnan

by Doug Gorman

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East Coweta's Jessi Bartholomew, far left, tries to power the ball past a double-team of Sondra Hill (12) and Julie Masonheimer (right) during Thursday's tri-match at the Max Bass Athletic Center.

The Newnan Lady Cougars and East Coweta Lady Indians volleyball teams met Thursday afternoon in a sneak preview of what could be a showdown at both the county and Area 3-AAAAAA tournaments later this year.

The Lady Indians swept Newnan 25-11, 25-11.

Thursday night's contest won't count in the Area 3-AAAAAA standings.

Newnan may have suffered a bigger loss than the score when starting setter and team captain Tiffany Maes went down with an injury late in game one against the Lady Indians and was helped off the court .

'She is really my only setter,' Newnan head coach Leslie Fant said. 'We were worried about what would happen if we lost her. Hopefully, it is not that serious.

As a warm-up to their marquee matchup against each other, both teams started the day beating up on Sandy Creek.

Newnan knocked off the Lady Patriots (22-25, 25-22, 25-19), while East Coweta swept Sandy Creek (25-14, 25-20).

With its sweep of the two opponents, East Coweta improved its record to 11-3 while Newnan fell to 7-4.

'I am really pleased with the way we were able to stay focused tonight,' East Coweta's first-year coach Amber McClure said. 'I don't think we really ever lost the momentum.'

Newnan took a 2-0 lead against East Coweta in the first match, but the Lady Indians regrouped to take a 20-10 lead.

From there, they only allowed Newnan to score one more point.

Maes went down with the injury with East Coweta up 21-11.

'I don't feel like we let down once Tiffany went out, and I was glad to see that,' Fant said.

East Coweta led from start to finish in the second game and pushed out to a double digit lead at 17-7 for the first time in the set.

The Lady Indians were led through the night by Jessie Bartholomew's 26 kills. Sydney Winters added 9 kills.

Dominique Ingram added four kills. Mauer also had five aces.

East Coweta didn't take long to take control of its match against Sandy Creek by building a doubledigit lead.

Bartholomew started night with a kill and finished with at least 9 during the sweep of the Lady Patriots.

Mauer and Casey Padgett also had kills at opportune times in the first match against Sandy Creek.

The Lady Patriots kept the second match closer, even leading at 2-1, but once East Coweta went ahead on Mauer's deep serve to put the Lady Indians up 4-3, the team never trailed again.

After spotting Sandy Creek a victory in the first game of the match, Newnan built a lead early in the final two sets to pull away.

The Lady Cougars took control of the second game, building a 18-8 lead, but then had to hold on after the Lady Patriots rallied to 19-18.

Julie Masonheimer and Jenni Young each had aces early in the second set against Sandy Creek.

Maes' kill gave Newnan a 24-22 lead and helped set up the winning point to send the match into the deciding third set.

Newnan gave up the first point in the third set, but led the rest of the way after breaking a 2-all tie.

Quality serving by Cash down the stretch closed out the match against the Lady Patriots after Sandy Creek cut the Lady Cougars' lead to 22-19.

In the victory against Sandy Creek, Allison Cash and Masonheimer had eight kills.

Jenni Young finished with three aces. Masonheimer added two.

East Coweta is off until next week when it plays at Johns Creek and Pinehurst Academy.

Newnan travels to Fayette County next Thursday for its next action.

'We just have to keep improving,' McClure said. 'We are getting better each time.'



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