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Augusta Prep rolls to tri-match win over Harlem, Westside

Posted: September 13, 2017 - 12:12am
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Harlem’s Ashlynn Shieberl (front) tries to hit a shot around Augusta Prep’s Jamie Rosenblum. The Lady Cavaliers went on to defeat the Lady Bulldogs.

After Augusta Prep lost 10 of 12 varsity volleyball players from last season, Lady Cavaliers coach Rich Bland said this season's squad is working on its chemistry.

Last week's tri-match will go a long way to helping Augusta Prep find itself.

The Lady Cavaliers bested Harlem, 25-22, 20-25, 25-18 in a Tuesday night affair at Westside. Then in the nightcap, Augusta Prep defeated Westside, 25-12, 25-8.

"We're really an inexperienced team finding our identity," said Lady Cavaliers coach Rich Bland, whose team improved to 5-1 this season. "We had too many unforced errors against Harlem, and they played much better in the second set. We were fortunate to pull it out in the third set.

"Against Westside, we stepped up our game. That's a tough opponent."

Westside fell to 7-10 overall after the tri-match, knocking off area foe Harlem in two games before falling to Augusta Prep. The Lady Patriots, who advanced to the Class AA Final Four last season, are playing tough non-region competition like Augusta Prep, Evans, Greenbrier, Grovetown and Lakeside. That experience has helped the Lady Patriots jump out to an Area 2-AA lead with a 7-0 mark this season. Westside coach David Bradberry said he hopes playing strong teams prepares his squad for postseason play.

"The reason I play Evans twice and Lakeside twice and Greenbrier and Prep and all these teams is to get us ready for that," he said. "It really served us well in the Round of 16 and the Round of 8 last year. So I really don't care what our record is. I care that we're ready for postseason."

Harlem saw its unbeaten streak come to an end Tuesday night. The Lady Bulldogs opened the season with seven consecutive wins.

"We definitely faced better competition today than we have all year," said Harlem coach Scott Hawkins, whose team went onto lose to bigger schools in Strom Thurmond and Lakeside last week. "We definitely need to play better when we face teams like this."

 

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