Chamblee Charter High School and Decatur High School have had a merciless volleyball rivalry since the program began in 2000. The girls on both teams are thoroughly familiar with each other and often cheer for one another when they are playing against different teams; however, their dynamic is quite the opposite when they are playing each other, as they did on August 23, 2018.
As they high-fived and made their ways onto the court for the start of the first set, one could see the excitement on the players’ faces.
The stakes were high for both Chamblee and Decatur, considering Chamblee’s callous triumph over DHS at SpikeFest, the annual DeKalb County volleyball tournament hosted at CCHS. Both teams were determined to leave the court victorious.
“We take every game seriously, and Decatur has always been one of our top rivals,” said Kennedy Preval. “All we can do is play our best, but we know that if we have beat them before we can, and should beat them again. So there is some pressure on us.”
“It will be difficult to beat them because they would want to beat us after SpikeFest, but as long as we don’t get cocky and relax we will be fine,” said Junior Becca Evans, who was designated MVP of the SpikeFest tournament.
“Our defense can be a little weak at points and they’re a very strong serving team, whereas we sometimes struggle with serve receive,” said Preval prior to the game. “We often overpower them only with pure will power, effort and energy.”
Her positive attitude and love for the team is one of the things that has made them so successful thus far in the season and has proved to be essential at the critical match.
The girls slaughtered the competition during the first set (or half) of the game. Fueled by their love of the game, the Lady Bulldogs won the first set with a score of 25-13. In the second set, they went even harder; even though there were moments when they seemed to have lost their edge, the girls persevered, garnering a score of 25-16 in their second and final set.
With every bump, set and spike, the girls gave it their all, showing that this is just the beginning for the undefeated varsity team.
“I feel very hopeful that with the way we’ve been playing this season. We could go further than we ever have before and possibly win state,” said sophomore Courtney Combs.