Derrick Mahone/Douglas County Sentinel Douglas County coach Lee Spoor says he has been improved with the team's improved hitting heading into the state playoffs.

The close sets that the Douglas County Tigers lost during the early part of the season is turning into wins now.

And they will need that confidence heading into the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs on Thursday.

Douglas County, runner-up in the Area 5-AAAAAA Tournament last week, will host Pope in the first round of the playoffs.

“I’ve been very pleased at the way we have come together,” Douglas County coach Lee Spoor said. “We lost a lot of close games but now we are winning. We being playing more aggressive at this point in the season. Our passing has gotten a lot better.”

The Tigers will need that aggressive play against a solid Pope team that comes into the match with a 30-8 record. Pope had win three straight matches before last week’s loss to Johns Creek.

Last season, the Greyhounds lost in the quarterfinal of the state tournament.

Spoor said the team spent the last couple days at practice working on their passing.

“It is kind of funny that we started the beginning of practice working on passing,” Spoor said. “Now, it seems like we are starting over.”

Finishing runner-up to Northgate in the area tournament has the team playing with more confidence. The Tigers defeated Alexander in the semifinals to reach the finals.

“We are definitely looking forward to playing in the state tournament,” sophomore Taliyah Sumter said. “We are very confident in our ability. We are a young team but we are starting to play with a lot of attitude.”

The Tigers returned four starters from last season’s team that lost to Greenbrier in the first round of the playoffs. Douglas County enters the state tournament with a 17-24-1 record.

“We are definitely so excited about the playoffs,” sophomore Karleigh Fripp said. “We just have to keep pushing each other. We know that have some good hitters.”

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