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Rockdale rallies for sweep in home debut
Alcovy drops two in tri-meet including Apalachee

CONYERS - The Rockdale volleyball team had an impressive home debut Thursday night.

The Lady Bulldogs (3-3 overall) rallied from a game down to beat Apalachee 22-25, 25-21, 25-11 after starting with a 25-5, 25-21 victory over Alcovy in the opening match.

Alcovy also dropped a 25-18, 25-20 decision to Apalachee.

Rockdale fell behind 20-14 in the first game against Apalachee before closing to 22-21 thanks in part to aces from Taylor Burdette and Katie Bryant.

However, the Lady Wildcats won three of the last four points to take the lead in the match.

In the second game, the Lady Bulldogs rallied to tie the match behind the play of their front line - Kelsey Girardot, Lauren Aikens, Janess O'Kane and Brianna Dennis - as well as setter Chelsea Nunn.

The Lady Bulldogs built their biggest lead at 19-11 off an O'Kane kill and a Girardot ace.

Apalachee closed to within three points at 23-20, but Dennis and Girardot put the game away with kills for Rockdale.

In the third game, Rockdale's front line put on a clinic.

With Elizabeth Fox serving, the Lady Bulldogs reeled off nine straight points, building a 17-2 advantage after a block by O'Kane. During the run, Aikens and O'Kane took turns finishing off setups by Nunn.

Reanna Bray's ace closed out the victory after another block by O'Kane.

"If we are doing things the right way, then we are successful," Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing said. "If we're not playing with our full effort, like we did in the first game against Apalachee, then we deserve to lose. We actually made some changes and then we made the effort to win.

"That one rotation (in the third game) with Elizabeth serving and Kelsey, Janess, Lauren up front was basically where we put it away. They had no answer for it."

O'Kane and Aikens each posted 13 kills against Apalachee, while Girardot chipped in 11. Nunn had 17 assists.

Against Alcovy, the Lady Bulldogs cruised to a one-game lead in the match by winning 15 of the opening game's final 16 points.

The Lady Tigers played much better in the second game, taking the lead at 8-7 and then tying the match late 19-19 after an ace by Leah Anderson.

However, Girardot's kill off an assist by Nunn put Rockdale back in front, while Bray and Aikens also chipped in kills to keep Alcovy at bay. Girardot finished off the match with an ace.

In Alcovy's loss to Apalachee, the Lady Tigers dropped nine straight points to fall behind 20-11 in the opening game.

But in the second game, Brittany Jacobson had a pair of kills early to help the Lady Tigers take a one-point lead.

Holly Oakes had two blocks and Jacobson added two more kills as Alcovy rallied from a four-point deficit to tie the second game at 16.

However, Apalachee took five of the final six points to claim the victory.

Jeff Gillespie can be reached at jeff.gillespie@rockdalecitizen.com.