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Rockdale, South Gwinett get wins to start area play

COVINGTON — Rockdale and South Gwinnett started Area 8-AAAAAA on a high note sweeping Alcovy and Newton to go 2-0 on Tuesday at Alcovy.

Rockdale secured an 25-6, 25-8 win over Newton before beating Alcovy 25-8, 25-12.

South Gwinnett started the match with a 25-14, 25-11 win over Alcove before getting a 25-16, 25-8 win over Newton for the sweep.

“To start 2-0 in (area) is our goal and that’s what we did. We just have to keep it going,” Rockdale head coach Stephen Sansing said. “The best thing was that it gave us a chance to get the younger players in there.”

After winning the first match against Newton, Rockdale’s Alycia Johnson went on a 16-point run with nine aces to put the Lady Bulldogs up 24-8. As a team, Rockdale finished the matches against Newton with 20 aces.

Against Alcovy, Jahkishma Soto went on a 14-point run from the service line while getting eight aces.

“It’s great that everyone of them (players), I believe, can get back there and go on a run because we have some great servers,” Sansing said.

Rockdale had their share of kills as well with Majesti Bass getting nine kills with Abby Bradford getting seven including one against Alcovy for the final point.

“That’ the biggest thing we have to improve on, unforced errors. Sometimes that keeps teams in the game,” Sansing said. “But the good thing is that we eliminated those as the match went on and we started doing the things we needed to.”

Alcovy showed moments where they were coming together. A few of those times included their first game against South Gwinnett where they fought back to close the gap to make it 14-11 before losing 25-14.

Leading the Lady Tigers were Femke Stogelinga and Aleisha Lett. Unfortunately, the times they played well and mistake free were not enough to overcome the play of the teams or the mistakes they made.

“Rockdale is good, probably one of the better teams in the area. South Gwinnett has improved over the last couple of years but I feel we could’ve played with them. I told our girls we’re not athletically going to beat a lot of people but if we play smart, we have very intelligent girls, and make smart decisions we can play with just about anybody,” Alcovy head coach Michelle Finley said. “We’ll regroup and try again on Thursday. We have to play smart and not rely on being athletic.”