Katrina Cloer

Fred T. Foard's Katrina Cloer (13) looks to send the ball over the net during Thursday night's match against West Lincoln. The Tigers won in straight sets for their first win of the 2019 season.

NEWTON — The Fred T. Foard volleyball team picked up right where it left off in 2018, earning a 3-0 (25-8, 25-5, 25-4) win over visiting West Lincoln in both squads’ season opener on Thursday night at Jerry Copas Gym. The victory was the 12th straight regular-season home win for the Tigers dating back to 2017 and was their 20th three-set triumph since the start of last season.

“First, I just want to give West Lincoln credit for coming here and doing our endowment game,” Foard head coach Meredith Lombardi said. “They showed up being very close to our school, it's all about keeping good relationships with the close schools that aren't in your conference."

“One of the things I talk about a lot is ball control, so I think coming in that was one of their goals is to focus on their ball control and don’t let one error lead to multiple errors, and capitalize on the things they need to capitalize on,” she added of her team. “… I thought they did a good job of coming in here, it was the first home game, so they were excited and they did what they were supposed to do.”

Foard (1-0) held the Rebels (0-1) to single digits in all three sets thanks to strong play from junior outside hitters Megan Dorsey and Michelle Thao. The 5-foot-8 Dorsey had six kills, six aces and four digs, while the 5-6 Thao had six kills and seven digs.

Sophomore Martina Foster, the Tigers’ tallest player at 5-11, finished with five kills and one dig. Fellow sophomores Haley Johnston and Sarah Lingle also had big nights, as Johnston registered four aces, seven digs and 13 assists and Lingle tallied three kills, two digs and 11 assists.

Senior libero Dara Shaffer had six digs and one assist for Foard, while senior defensive specialist Makenzie Sutton had five digs in the hosts’ dominant victory.

“Our outside hitters Megan and Michelle, they’re powerful and they did a really good job moving the ball around,” said Lombardi. “Our middles did a good job, they were always an option, and my two setters are sophomores playing on varsity so I thought they really stepped up.

“All in all, I think the whole team did a good job and I’m really pleased with everyone’s performance,” she continued.

The Tigers are back at home Tuesday for a meeting with Maiden. The JV contest begins at 4:30 p.m. with the varsity match to follow.

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Josh McKinney is the sports editor for the Hickory Daily Record. 

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