MOULTRIE – Even with some mid-season changes, Colquitt County High volleyball coach Ron Fowler still has high hopes for a strong Packer postseason.

On Thursday, the Packers blasted Americus-Sumter County in straight sets and had one more match against Mitchell County. The victory against the Lady Panthers was significant in that it doubled the program’s varsity win total (six) from one year ago (three).

However, Colquitt is still looking for that first-ever Region 1-7A win. In six such matches (played at Lowndes and Camden County), Fowler said they did win a set (against Lowndes) for the first time in region play, and in another match vs. Camden they took the Wildcats into ‘overtime’ of a set.

All of this happened in the middle of some roster changes. Fowler called up two junior varsity players to fill the gaps, one being at setter with sophomore Jadyn Rasberry. Shelly Azar, a defensive specialist, is also on the varsity roster now full time.

Fowler said Thursday these moves meant a change in the offensive system, but he feels the team is responding well enough to still be a factor for the remainder of the season. Colquitt County and their region foes will meet one more time in the regular season at Tift County Sept. 21. The Region 1-7A tournament is the first weekend of October on the Packers’ court.

Even if his team goes into the tournament as the No. 4 seed, Fowler said anybody could win it.

Colquitt played Americus-Sumter in a best-of-3 Thursday, and libero Sarah Beth Glass served the home team to an opening 6-0 lead. With Azar on serve, the Packers were up 12-1.

If those serves were too much for the Panthers, Grace McKee got the advantage up to 16-2. Most of the scoring was done by service aces until middle hitter Autumn Hampton made a side-out kill for 18-3.

That turned serve over to Hampton, who did three aces in a row up to set point. Rasberry then had a chance to set Kennedy Fillyaw for the final point at 25-3.

It didn’t take long in set No. 2 for Rasberry to earn her first assist, that to Hampton in a 4-0 run. With the score 6-3, Glass chased a ball off the court and was able to send it over the net. With that side-out, McKee’s turn to serve came up. She hit hard aces everywhere in a 12-0 run.

Hampton cashed in one more pass from Rasberry during that streak and served three aces to close out the match 25-4.

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