Riley Moss eyes the incoming ball. Photo by Jesse Walker

Riley Moss eyes the incoming ball. Photo by Jesse Walker

By Leila Dycus, Intern

Their Facebook page says it all: “A lot of blood, sweat, and tears were left on the court Wednesday evening as Woodward Academy took the court and the match in three games.”

Morgan County High School’s (MCHS) varsity Spike Dogs traveled to Woodward Academy on Wednesday, Oct. 16, for the first round of state playoffs. Led by Coach Pete Busenitz, filling in for Coach Pam Hooten, the Spike Dogs faced a tough opponent in Woodward, the third-ranked team in the state.

The Bulldogs competed in a three-set match against the War Eagles. Splitting the first two games, the third set resulted in a season-ending Bulldog loss.

Although Coach Hooten was unable to be present at the final game of the team’s season, she had a lot to say about their accomplishments: “This was the most successful season in the history of the program. It was the season that put Morgan County in the spotlight.”

She went on to describe how the team was able to compete against – and beat – many of the “powerhouse” programs. Many of these teams are still in the state playoffs. Coach Hooten said that this is the first time that MCHS has made it into the state rankings in volleyball and, at one point, the Spike Dogs were ranked number eight in class AAA.

“As with any team, we had our issues. But as a team we were able to overcome any problems and focus on the task at hand – playing great volleyball,” said Hooten.

Three Spike Dog players also received recognition at Area. Olivia Keegan and Hannah Caison received First Team All-Area honors, and Rosa Cox was awarded Second Team All-Area honors. The combination of the award-winning team members and the team as a whole took this year’s Spike Dogs further than any other MCHS volleyball team in history.

Coach Hooten said that they could not have had as successful a season without a complete team effort. She went on to describe how proud of the team she was, praising their hard work and dedication.

Although the season may be over, many of the varsity girls will return to the court next year.

Taylor Bruce sets the ball. Photo by Jesse Walker

Taylor Bruce sets the ball. Photo by Jesse Walker