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Rockdale volleyball wins a pair

Rockdale’s two-time region champion volleyball team has a number of new faces. But on the road last Thursday, the Bulldogs looked a lot like the 2010 and 2011 title-winners. The Conyers school swept two matches from Drew and host Locust Grove in non-area play.

The Bulldogs opened the evening with a 2-0 victory over Drew, a fourth-year school from Clayton County. Junior outside hitters Alycia Johnson and Abby Bradford led the way in the 25-15, 25-18 wins as Johnson had a huge first game, picking up six service aces, while Bradford added five aces and six kills during the match.

“(The match against Drew) was more of a serving game,” said Rockdale coach Stephen Sansing.

Rockdale dropped the first game to Locust Grove, 25-18, but rallied to win games two and three, 25-15, 25-22. Junior Natheree Lackey, younger sister of former Rockdale player Kendra, last year’s region player of the year, and new setter after the graduation of Libby Bradford, had 23 assists. The Bulldogs spread the wealth in the kill department as senior middle hitter Jaida Allen led with eight kills, Johnson had seven, sophomore middle hitter, six, and Bradford, five.

“Locust Grove, we had a very balanced match,” said Sansing. “It was a god chance for…we got everybody in. Everybody played well.”

Rockdale continues on the road to Coweta County tonight for a big doubleheader with Northgate and Columbus. It will not only be the second time Rockdale and Northgate have met this season (the Vikings won 2-0 August 10), but the third meeting in 10 months after Rockdale’s victory in the first round of the 2011 state playoffs.