Senior night sweep: Rockdale wins final regular season home games

CONYERS - The Rockdale volleyball team celebrated senior night with a pair of victories Tuesday night.

The Lady Bulldogs (25-14 overall, 7-2 in Area 8-AAAA) beat Eastside 25-20, 25-17 in the opening match before topping 8-AAAA foe Madison County 25-23, 25-5 in the final match.

In the first match, Eastside jumped out to an 11-4 lead thanks to a pair of aces from Katie Johnson and Tiffani Hodges.

However, Rockdale battled back on the service of Lauren Aikens. The Lady Bulldogs scored seven straight points to take the lead at 12-11. Aikens did most of the damage with four aces, while Brianna Dennis chipped in three kills.

Dennis added two more aces and Libby Bradford also collected two aces as the Lady Bulldogs opened up a 21-14 advantage.

Eastside's Hodges tried to rally her squad with two more aces, cutting the deficit to 24-20. But the Lady Bulldogs won the final point to take a 1-0 lead in the match.

In Game 2, Aikens had two kills early on for Rockdale, helping her team build a 10-3 advantage.

Eastside rallied on the service of Tiffany Lo, who had an ace and assist to set up a kill by Antonia Mullins, as the Lady Eagles cut their deficit to 10-7.

But Rockdale took control of the second game by scoring four straight points off Elizabeth Fox's serve to jump out to a 19-10 lead. She started the run with an ace, while Aikens and

Reanna Ray combined for a block.

After that, Aikens finished off two kills on assists by Chelsea Nunn as the Lady Bulldogs started pulling away.

Rockdale wrapped up the victory on a block by Dennis and a kill from Fox.

Aikens led the way for Rockdale against Eastside with six kills, four aces and a block. Dennis chipped in four kills, two aces and a block, while Nunn finished with six assists and an ace.

Mullins had three kills and a block to pace the Lady Eagles. Lo chalked up five assists and Hodges finished with four kills.

Against Madison County, Aikens had 13 kills and Dennis finished with six.

"We started out a little sloppy and there was not much energy on the court. Once we got going, we were fine," Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing said. "Sometimes, in those warmup matches, it takes some time to get going. But when it's time to go, you have to get going. Eastside played well and we got behind, but we came back and won.

"Against Madison, we did the same thing. We started kind of slow against. Once we get behind, we don't worry and panic, we just keep chipping away."

Eastside (17-23) bounced back to defeat Madison in three games 25-18, 18-25 and 25-23.

Johnston compiled seven kills and seven aces to lead the Lady Eagles, while Mullins chipped four kills, three aces and one block. Lo finished 15 assists.

Naomi Wills also collected seven aces for the Lady Eagles.

Rockdale completes its regular season Thursday night at Monroe Area. If the Lady Bulldogs win, they'll clinch the No. 2 seed out of 8-AAAA South for the upcoming area tournament.

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