LAGRANGE – The Troup Lady Tigers are striving for success every time they step on the volleyball court, but head coach Jodi Dowden is keeping an eye on the big picture.
Troup will begin its area schedule in a couple of weeks, and Dowden said the primary goal right now is to make sure the team is as prepared as it can be when those matches begin.
“We don’t start area play for another couple of weeks, so we’ve got adjustment time right now,” Dowden said. “We’re still playing with the lineup just a little bit. I’ve got some people that are neck-and neck trying to beat each other out for a spot. And there’s no clear winner. Some offer good offense, and some offer good defense. We’re trying to figure out what works best in our system.”
On Thursday, Troup continued to tune up for area play by playing home matches against The Heritage School and Harris County.
Against Heritage, Troup was closing in on a victory in the first game, but Heritage put together a late rally to take the 26-24 win.
Troup got to 24 points first and was one point away from the victory, but it couldn’t put it away.
Heritage won the second game as well to clinch the victory.
“We managed the entire first game, and a bad call at the end of the game made it 24-24 where it should have gone 25-23 in our favor,” Dowden said. “It didn’t (go in our favor), and we kind of lost our rhythm and let that get to us instead of coming back and getting the next point.”
Dowden said shrugging off adversity is something a successful team has to do.
“We need to be able to do that,” Dowden said. “That’ll be something we’ll focus on, being able to shake things off.”
In the day’s second match, Troup lost to Harris County to fall to 2-3 on the season.
Against Heritage, Dowden said Anna Murphy was the top hitter.
In the Harris County match, Dowden said Savannah Laney “had a good game. She had several kills.”
Dowden added that the team received “great defensive play from Tori Cason.”
Troup will be at Smith’s Station for a tournament today, and Dowden said that will provide the team with some valuable experience.
“That’ll be a big huge tournament,” Dowden said. “We’ll see Harris County again in that tournament. So hopefully we’ll be able to get our rhythm back and play well against them this weekend.”
Dowden said the team will likley be short-handed because of an injury, with one of the key players having suffered a knee injury on Thursday.
“I’m hoping that’ll be temporary, but we might have to fill that hole this weekend,” Dowden said. “She may be off for a week or so. We’re trying to get ready for area, and hopefully we won’t have any more injuries.”
Reach Kevin Eckleberry at (706) 884-7311 or on Twitter @lagrangesports