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Jonesboro volleyball cream of Clayton crop

Photo by Gabriel Stovall
For the last 13 seasons, the Jonesboro volleyball team has taken home the Clayton County championship trophy.

Photo by Gabriel Stovall For the last 13 seasons, the Jonesboro volleyball team has taken home the Clayton County championship trophy.

JONESBORO — Being tops in Clayton County volleyball is nice, but it’s not enough for the Jonesboro volleyball team.

And while first-year head coach Paul Cook said he has been pleased with his team lately, he is adamently preaching for his talented bunch to stay focused on its broader goals.

“I think it’s a good first step winning this tournament,” Cook said. “But we’ve still got a long way to go.”

The Lady Cardinals (26-5, 5-1) won its 13th consecutive Clayton County Volleyball tournament by notching a 25-22, 25-20, 25-13 victory over Riverdale.

En route to the title, Jonesboro swept matches against North Clayton and Lovejoy and also played the Lady Raiders, who fought their way back from the loser’s bracket, in a qualifying match before meeting them again in the championship set.

Jonesboro senior Kim Dawkins had 16 kills and two aces and Michaelle Smith recorded 15 kills during Saturday’s tourney games to lead the Cardinals who upped their record to 24-5 with the win.

The Region 4-AAAA tournament is two weeks away, Cook said the team has plenty to work.

“We’ve got to get ourselves better and more under control with our serves,” he said. “I feel very confident about our chances in the region tournament, depending on which team shows up. If we keep down our service errors, watch the line and our passes, we can beat any team we play.”

The Lady Cardinals remain one game behind Woodland (28-1, 6-0) for the region lead. They played the Lady Wolfpack tough, losing 2-1 in the Sept 11 matchup of region leaders. The Lady Wolfpack will travel to region foe Upson-Lee to face the Knights and fellow region opponent Dutchtown on Monday, with the Henry County tournament to follow.

Since back-to-back losses to Alpharetta and Glynn Academy, the Cardinals have won 11 straight contests.