SPORTS HEADLINES

Volleyball: Chico gears for playoff run

By Richard Greene | Published Saturday, October 28, 2017
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Working Together

WORKING TOGETHER – Chico’s Chloe and Jessica Byers jump to block a shot during a recent Lady Dragons match. Chico opens the playoffs Tuesday in Gainesville. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

The Chico Lady Dragons’ run to the Class 2A Region II tournament started last season with a victory over Collinsville in the bi-district round.

Tuesday, the Lady Dragons will face Collinsville once again. The two will meet in Gainesville for a 7 p.m. start.

“They are going to be big and scrappy,” said Chico coach Jody Carter. “It’s nothing we haven’t seen. We just need to execute the game plan and be ready to play.”

Chico (25-6) finished second in District 9-2A, going 10-4 in the league.

The Lady Dragons are hoping for a repeat of last year when they made it to the fourth round of the playoffs.

“Last year gave us a goal to strive for,” said Chico’s Michaela Martin. “Playing in the playoffs is such a rush. We want to get back [to regionals]. We have to kick it into gear.”

Chico graduated its setter and top two hitters from last year’s squad. Despite those departures, the Lady Dragons never missed a beat behind seniors Jessica Byers, Laynee North and Kayla Clampitt.

“I’m so proud of this group. What they’ve done after what we lost is exciting,” Carter said.

But Carter sees the hunger in this team to compete and make another run.

Byers, who leads the team in kills, said they must continue to work together. She’s not ready to play her last match.

“It’s scary being a senior. You never know when it may be your last match,” Byers said. “You have to approach every game like it’s your last.”

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