Volleyball First Round Notebook: Top 10 teams dominate, showdowns loom

Perry McIntyre

In Class AAAAAA, North Gwinnett got past Lovejoy 3-0 and Johns Creek swept a talented Hillgrove squad 3-0 setting up a Bulldogs vs. Gladiators second-round matchup.

Johns Creek topped North Gwinnett 2-0 (25-15, 25-23) when the two teams faced Oct. 3. Etowah and North Cobb sets up another interesting second-round matchup. North Cobb swept the Eagles 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-13) when they faced each other early in the season.

East Coweta will host a dangerous South Forsyth team that cruised past Brunswick in the opening round as a No. 3 seed and No. 1 Walton hosts McEachern. Centennial was the only team to knock a No. 1 seed out of the tournament in Class AAAAAA, and did it with a 3-0 win over Area-1 champion Camden County. Lassiter will host the Knights in the second round and Mountain View will visit Harrison to take on the top-seeded Hoyas. The rest of the second round pairings will be Newnan at Chattahoochee and Roswell at Brookwood. All of pre-playoff top 10 teams in Class AAAAAA advanced.

In Class AAAAA, No. 5 seed Creekview came back from a two-set hole to beat No. 1 seed Harris County 3-2. Creekview will take on defending champion Whitewater in the second round. Starr’s Mill at Seqouyah and Pope at McIntosh highlight the Sweet Sixteen matchups in Class AAAAA.

All 10 ranked teams in Class AAAA advanced and no higher seed lost in the opening round. Woodland-Stockbridge at River Ridge sets up an intriguing second round tilt and Southeast Whitfield at Marist also pits two dangerous teams. The winner of Chestatee at South Effingham will punch its ticket into the third round as will the team that survives the top 10 battle between Sandy Creek and Veterans. Finally, Carrollton at Heritage, Catoosa will be a test for the No. 1 seeded Generals at home.

No. 10 Morgan County fell to No. 3 Woodward Academy and No. 6 North Hall fell to No. 5 Sonoraville resulting in eight of the top 10 pre-playoff Class AAA teams advancing to the second round. Blessed Trinity entered the bracket as a No. 2 seed after falling to St. Pius in the Area 5 championship and will travel to Savannah Arts for its second round matchup. Oconee County visits Sonoraville, North Oconee hosts Johnson and Woodward Academy will host Islands. No. 3 seeded Buford topped Cartersville and No. 4 seeded Southeast Bulloch pulled off the upset over top-seeded Henry County. As a result, the No. 3 seeded Wolves will host Southeast Bulloch in Tuesday’s second round matchup. Hart County will take on Class AAA’s No. 1 team, St. Pius X.

No. 10 Coosa’s loss to Class AA No. 1 Westminster was the only top 10 loss in the opening round for Class AA and with 12 teams remaining there are nine ranked opponents. Laney will visit Wesleyan and GAC will visit Westminster. The Spartans fell to Westminster (25-19, 25-21) when the teams faced this season. Kendrick hosts Chattooga, Westside-Augusta hosts Lovett, St. Vincent’s hosts Spencer and Jefferson visits Calhoun.

In Class A, No. 9 Athens Academy lost to No. 8 Savannah Country Day and No. 10 Fellowship Christian lost to unranked Darlington, so the top eight ranked teams in our pre-playoff rankings advanced to the second round. Defending Class A champion Landmark Christian will visit Hebron Christian, setting up a huge second-round matchup. Savannah Country Day visits Walker and Our Lady of Mercy takes on Darlington. Mt. Paran at ELCA sets up a top 10 showdown and Paideia at Savannah Christian sets up a challenging second round opponent for the Raiders. Calvary Baptist at Holy Innocents’ rounds off the Class A second-round action.

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