It has been over 30 years, but home athletic competition is back at Dalton State.
The Lady Roadrunner Volleyball team opened their home schedule last night.
The match was held at Dalton High School due to the renovations at Bandy Gym on campus. A crowd of almost 500 fans from the College and the community filled Dalton High’s upper decks and were treated to an excellent match.
The Lady Eagles of Reinhardt (6-3) beat the Lady Roadrunners for the second time this season, but this match was nip and tuck.
Reinhardt won the first game 25-19 in a game where jitters seemed to plague the Lady Roadrunners. In the second game, Dalton State found their rhythm, although their effort was not quite enough, losing 26-24.
In game three, the Lady Roadrunners were in control throughout and won 25-21. The final and deciding game saw Reinhardt stave off three match points and come back to win 28-26.
For the Lady Roadrunners, Alyne Bianche had 13 kills, Karly Newma and Savannah Nelson each finished with 12. It was the first time all year the squad had three players in double figures on kills.
But the team effort didn’t end there. Clarissa Webber had 15 assists. Michaela Askew had 14 assists and 13 digs. Nelson had 13 digs and Bianchi added 10.
Denise De Vine led Reinhardt with 21 kills and 14 digs. Katie Gilstrap had 11 kills and Jeannie Fiero added 8. Katelyn Weinberg totaled 20 assists.
“Tonight was a groundbreaking, special night for the institution,” said Dalton State president Dr. John Schwenn. “I have been looking forward to this night for a long time and I thought Dalton State had a great showing from the team and the fans.”
While the final score was disappointing, the crowd was treated to a fantastic match and was enthusiastic from start to finish. “In the overall scheme of things, the result of this match is secondary,” said Dalton State athletic director Derek Waugh. “What is most important is that Roadrunner athletics are back in Dalton.”
“I have been involved in college athletics for over 20 years, and I have never seen a crowd that large for Volleyball,” Waugh said. “Hopefully everyone that came will get hooked on the sport because it is so exciting to watch.”
Roadrunner Coach Bruna Langner echoed the sentiment and thought the crowd gave the young team some nerves in game one but was a huge advantage as the match wore on. “The crowd was amazing,” Langner said.
“That is probably the best we have played all year,” Langner said. “A couple of nice plays on their part and a couple of errors on our part were the difference in the match, but we played like a team and I was proud of the effort.”
The Lady Roadrunners (1-6) hit the court again on Saturday with a noon affair with Truett-McConnell. Admission is free and Dalton High School will again serve as the host.