By Anthony Rhoads
The Eagle's Landing Lady Golden Eagles know that if they want to return to the Class AAAAA state volleyball tournament, they will have to get through their region first.
On Tuesday, the Lady Golden Eagles, last year's area champions, came away with two Area 2-AAAAA victories over Stockbridge and Morrow at home.
Eagle's Landing started the day by beating Stockbridge 25-16, 25-13 and 26-24.
The Lady Golden Eagles beat Morrow 3 games to 1, but the Lady Mustangs proved to be tough competition throughout the match.
The Lady Golden Eagles won 25-18, 23-25, 25-18 and 25-20.
"That was an awesome match," Eagle's Landing head volleyball coach Christine Ward said. "It was a really tough match. All I can say is the girls really wanted it. They really think they can do it and see they are on the road to state. They found out just how good they really are."
Ward was less enthused about her team's performance against Stockbridge.
"I was happy to about the area win but it was an ugly win for our girls," she said. "They came back and turned it into something positive against Morrow."
Several players stood out in the Morrow match including Nicole Bush, Hayley Ferrell, Kris Jones, Taliza Maldonado, Arisha Ramseur and Mandy Sponable.
In game 4, Eagle's Landing's first four points were off kills by Ferrell. She recorded three more kills in the game and served an ace. Bush had three kills in the deciding game.
Eagle's Landing improves its record to 11-3 while Morrow stands at 11-4.
"We couldn't take advantage of their mistakes and couldn't take advantage of our opportunities," Morrow head coach Yolanda Jenkins said. "Eagle's Landing did a good job and not to take anything away from what they did but we hurt ourselves a lot more than they did."
Even though the Lady Mustangs came up on the short end of the match, Jenkins was glad the team play competitively against a tough team.
"This gives me an opportunity to see what we need to work on," she said. "I appreciate and like teams that are competitive."
When it comes to areas of improvement, Jenkins is adamant on what her team needs to work on.
"Service, service, service," she said. "That's been our Achilles' heel all year. We were out of position a few times but that can be corrected. Servicing has been the one thing that we've been inconsistent with."
Morrow's Carla Ballard served several aces in the matches against Eagle's Landing and Jonesboro while Jordan Greenleaf and Nadirah Powell played solidly at the net.
Morrow defeated Stockbridge 25-20, 25-16 and 25-18.
Stockbridge head coach Monica Davis declined comment.
Jonesboro stays unbeaten: The Jonesboro Lady Cardinals continued their winning streak and improved their record to 18-0 after beating Coffee County and Mt. Zion Tuesday.
Jonesboro beat Coffee 25-11, 25-9 and 25-10 and beat Mt. Zion 25-8, 25-9 and 25-14.
On Saturday, Jonesboro defeated Morrow in the finals of the Clayton County tournament.