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Bulldogs survive scare in Area 8-AAAA volleyball

MT. AIRY -- The defending champions got a scare in their opening match of the Area 8-AAAA volleyball tournament Thursday.

Rockdale, the top seed from the south division, lost its first match to Cedar Shoals, 27-25, but rallied for 25-19 and 25-22 victories to advance to Saturday's semifinals. Rockdale trailed 17-11 in the first game and couldn't recover against the feisty Jaguars, who came into the tournament as the south's No. 5 seed, but defeated Salem and Winder-Barrow on Wednesday to set up the match with Rockdale.

"We started off pretty bad (but) I told the girls (Wednesday), they've been a very improved team. They fought," Bulldogs coach Stephen Sansing said of Cedar Shoals.

The Bulldogs, who were led by Kendra Lackey's 14 kills and 20 assists from Libby Bradford, squeaked by with wins in games two and three.

"We were just happy and proud to get out of here with a win," Sansing said.

Rockdale will play the winner of Heritage and Apalachee on Saturday at 10 a.m. with a spot in the area finals on the line.Patriots finish 4th in Region 8-AAAALOGANVILLE -- The Heritage softball team limped into the state tournament, literally and figuratively, Thursday at Loganville High School. The Patriots, who were without ace pitcher and cleanup hitter Kierra Camp, who is nursing a left ankle injury, fell to Habersham Central, 10-1 in six innings in the third-place game of the Region 8-AAAA Tournament. Heritage (23-10), the No. 4 seed, will travel to either Northwest Whitfield or Creekview when the Class AAAA State Tournament begins Oct. 12.

Without Camp, Heritage had to go with left-hander Taylor Moser, who pitched for the first time in 2010 and allowed a run in the top of the first on Kylie Stephens' sacrifice fly. Habersham (22-11) broke it open with four in the third on run-scoring hits from Stephens and Abby Hulsey and a pair of unearned runs to make it 5-0. Heritage's only run came in the sixth when Cierra Davenport led off with a double and scored on a throwing error.