Craig Harris/Macon County Times Macon County High junior middle hitter Kaitlyn Driver tips a ball over the net as classmate Allie Cliburn looks on.

Craig Harris/Macon County Times

Macon County High junior middle hitter Kaitlyn Driver tips a ball over the net as classmate Allie Cliburn looks on.

The Macon County High School volleyball team felt well-prepared for its District 9-AA opener against White House on Aug. 27.

One night earlier, the Tigerettes prepared for that match with a contest at Watertown, the Class A state runner-up last season.

The preparation must have paid off as Macon County captured a 25-18, 26-24, 25-9 victory over the visiting Lady Devils at Macon County Junior High.

"We came off last night playing as good as we did (in the four-game loss to Watertown), and we were trying to stay up to that level," Tigerette junior middle hitter Kaitlyn Driver said. "Playing harder teams is really good for us."

Macon County first-year head coach Brooke Bowers agreed.

"Last night helped us tremendously," Bowers said. "It kind of set the standards high for our girls. It got them ready for district play. It was a great, competitive first game (losing game one by a 25-18 margin)."

The Tigerettes were forced to come from behind in each of the first two games against White House.

"Our girls are great at coming from behind," Bowers said. "Sometimes, they have a slow start. They do very well at coming from behind though and not giving up."

Macon County trailed 11-7 before winning four of the next five points on the strength of the hitting of senior middle hitter Mattie Butler, who won three of those points with kills.

Tigerette junior outside hitter Hallie Dickens produced a kill to even the opening game at 17, and then, Dickens served up the next five points to place her squad in control.

A kill from Driver and two Lady Devil hitting errors ended game one.

"I think we kind of get on a high horse and think we're going to come out really strong," Driver said. "The other team comes out and puts us down. We're like, 'Wait' ... they wake us up."

White House took control again in the second game, building a 16-11 lead.

The Lady Devils led 23-21 following a Justine Lowe kill.

"It's a lot of being close to each other and being a bond," Driver said of the comebacks. "If we're really close like we are this year, we just stay up and shake it off ... we don't worry about it."

The Tigerettes pulled even at 23, but another kill by Lowe gave White House a game point.

However, a White House hitting error, a service winner from Dickens and a Dickens kill from the back row gave Macon County the victory.

"I try to think positive," Driver said of playing from behind. "If someone else messes up, I try to tell them to shake it off. We're really close, so we're really good at getting each other back up. We try to think that the next point is a new point. I try to not get down mentally."

The third game wasn't near as competitive though as Butler and Dickens combined for five kills as the Tigerettes rolled out to a 10-2 lead.

Driver produced three kills over the next nine points as the margin swelled to 17-4.

Macon County senior Mia Brawner served up the final four points, with Butler's kill ending the match.

Dickens and Butler finished with 13 and 12 kills, respectively.

"There was an improvement from last night to tonight," Bowers said. "There were little things that they slacked on (against Watertown) that they already improved tonight."

• Macon County didn't fare as well on Wednesday evening at Portland, suffering a 25-22, 25-10, 25-20 loss.

The Lady Panthers are the two-time defending Class AA state champions.

The Tigerettes built an eight-point lead in the opening game before Portland rallied to win it.

Driver finished with a team-high eight kills.

Brawner served up four aces, and sophomore Myle Crowder had a team-best nine digs.

Macon County fell to 1-1 in district play.