Despite going 2-3 this weekend at a playdate hosted by Athens Academy, the 2013 season continues to be a strong one for the Apalachee High School volleyball team.
The Lady Wildcats recently earned their first top 10 ranking, debuting at No. 8 for Class AAAAA. AHS was No. 10 the following week.
“It’s the first time in history we’ve been ranked,” said coach Joey Alfonso. “We hope we can keep getting better.”
The Lady Wildcats entered this week 20-6 overall and with an undefeated mark in region.
“We are excited about the season overall,” Alfonso said. “This past weekend, no one was supposed to play three matches in a row, but that’s what happened to us.”
AHS opened play Saturday by battling No. 4-ranked North Oconee to three games.
“It was emotional,” Alfonso said. “We knew they were ranked as well. They beat us pretty good at our place.”
The Lady Wildcats then defeated Greenbrier and Morgan County before falling in tough matches to Athens Academy and Atlanta International.
“We felt like we should have won four of the five matches we played,” Alfonso said. “The girls were tired. We’d had a few who had been sick and we were sluggish.”
The five matches in one day did allow Alfonso to use different lineups and see what combinations might work later in the season.
Cammie Alfonso has been one of the top players for AHS in 2013. She leads the team with kills after compiling 44 Saturday. Alfonso has 184 for the season. A team captain, she also had 72 digs over the weekend.
Lauren MacDowell, a three-year starter for the Lady Wildcats, has 300 assists this season.
Hannah Gomolak has also been a solid player, her coach said, and has 50 digs.
Freshman Taylor Bennett and newcomer Kiara Hooks, a junior, have also contributed in several areas in 2013.
“We hope to continue to get better and build on what we learned in our losses,” Alfonso said.