Batavia rallies, sweeps Georgetown in season opener

By Garth Shanklin - Sports Editor
The Batavia Lady Bulldogs celebrate after rallying to defeat Georgetown 26-24 in the first set of the match on Monday, August 20, 2018. Batavia scored the final eight points of the set. -

The Batavia Lady Bulldogs’ volleyball team opened the season at home against Georgetown on Monday, August 20, and the home crowd was treated to quite the contest.

The host squad defeated the Lady G-Men in three sets, winning the first set 26-24, the second 25-6 and the third 25-12.

Early on, neither team appared to be able to get into any sort of rhythm. Georgetown jumped ahead 5-0 in the first set, largely due to mistakes by Batavia. The Lady Bulldogs rallied, even retaking the lead 7-6, before falling behind again 13-9.

Batavia again answered, tying the set at 13. Georgetown scored eight of the next 11 points to take a 24-18 lead, which prompted head coach Erica Thomas to call timeout.

Whatever was said in that time out seemed to have worked, because Batavia scored the next eight points and won the set. The issue appeared to be a lack of communication, which Thomas said improved after the timeout.

“The first game was rough, but once they heard the wrath of coach to speak up, things were much better,” Thomas said.

Batavia started the second set strong, taking a 10-3 lead and never looking back. At one point, Batavia scored nine straight points en route to the 25-6 win.

The third set was more of the same, with the Lady Bulldogs turning a three-all tie early on into a 10-4 lead. Batavia again scored nine unanswered points, and ended up winning the third set 25-12.

Thomas said the game came at a good time for the team, as the trio of freshman on the roster were able to get some varsity experience while getting the butterflies out of the way.

“We haven’t played since Thursday,” Thomas said. “This was more of a practice, kind of working out the kinks. I have three freshman, and they’re very nervous. The first game was rough, but they got it together.”

One of the freshman, Madi Pawlaczyk, served the team’s final seven points of the first set. Thomas said the team’s serving ability is one of many strengths this season.

“Serving and hitting,” Thomas said. “They play club together, so that makes it when they come here they just have the flow, and that makes it really nice. That’s what we work on, being powerful at serving and hitting.”

Thomas also noted the team’s roster has a good balance of seniors and juniors to sophomores and freshman. As such, she has high hopes for the season.

“This year is really exciting,” Thomas said. “We have four seniors, a couple juniors and they’ve all played together. The only new kids are my freshman who haven’t played varsity. They know each other’s strengths and weaknesses and they’ve all adapted to those.”

Batavia was scheduled to return to action at home on Thursday, August 23 against Taylor. That game has been moved to September 5. The Lady Bulldogs host Williamsburg on Monday, August 27.

The Batavia Lady Bulldogs celebrate after rallying to defeat Georgetown 26-24 in the first set of the match on Monday, August 20, 2018. Batavia scored the final eight points of the set.
https://www.clermontsun.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/web1_DlFB6tEWwAA8pKH.jpgThe Batavia Lady Bulldogs celebrate after rallying to defeat Georgetown 26-24 in the first set of the match on Monday, August 20, 2018. Batavia scored the final eight points of the set.

By Garth Shanklin

Sports Editor