Following a successful non-district slate, Chapel Hill begins its District 17-3A volleyball campaign on the road today against Athens.

The match is set for 4:30 p.m.

With much of the regular season still ahead of them, the Lady Bulldogs have already surpassed their win total from 2010 and are hoping for a playoff berth. 

“I just felt like we were going to be better this year,” coach Linda Godwin said. “It’s encouraging and it gives my kids a lot of confidence. Their confidence levels are so much higher than they were last year.”

Chapel Hill is 19-12 overall and has been improving along the way, Godwin said. The Lady Bulldogs might still have their best season or seasons ahead of them, evidenced by three sophomores and two juniors being in the lineup.    

Sophomore outside hitter Brooke Wright, a move in from Hallsville, has 204 kills, 15 blocks, 112 digs, 27 aces and 144 service points on the season. 

Junior outside hitter D’Errica Campbell is second on the team with 132 kills, plus has 14 blocks, 122 digs, 32 aces and 137 service points. 

The roster also includes sophomore middle blocker Shay Ross (103 kills, 71 blocks), senior middle blocker Whitney Thomas (117 kills, 59 blocks), junior right side hitter Alexus Mayfield (30 kills, 16 digs) and sophomore setter Brittany Wright (86 digs, 221 service points). 

It also includes senior defensive specialists Kim Ford (85 digs, 107 service points), Victoria Bowie (96 digs, 148 service points) and Brittani Ford (72 digs, 116 service points). 

The Lady Bulldogs played with poise during their first 31 matches. 

“We’ve come back and won some matches, and some we’d be tied two and two and go into the fifth game and win those fifth games,” Godwin said. “Last year we weren’t able to do that. That has just been a big confidence booster.”

Going into district, Godwin counts Bullard and Athens among the favorites but believes the entire league is competitive. 

“I think we should compete,” Godwin said. “I really feel like we’re in contention for winning district. Bullard, they’ve got the tradition in this district and they’ve got great coaching. And then Athens, they didn’t graduate a whole lot last year and I feel like they are also a contender.

“We set a goal last year during offseason that our goal was to win district,” Godwin said. “Now it’s to not only win district, but it’s to go deep in the playoffs, because I really feel like we have the potential to do that.”

Godwin said the Lady Bulldogs’ biggest strengths are hitting and blocking. She said returning serves is their biggest weakness, but improvement has been made in that area.

Following tonight’s match, the Lady Bulldogs return home Tuesday to meet Brownsboro. 

They play host to Bullard on Friday, Oct. 7. 

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