Volleyball semifinals roundup

North Cobb HS


North Cobb 3, East Coweta 1 (25-27, 25-16, 25-16, 26-24): The Warriors had to turn in an outstanding performance to get past East Coweta’s Jessica Bartholomew and company but Taylor Parish and Christiana Matacotta helped lead host North Cobb to victory. Parish posted 47 assists and Matacotta combatted the Indians’ power at the net with 47 of the Warriors’ 114 digs. Savannah Gonzales led North Cobb’s attack with 20 kills and teammates Abby Miller and Simone Maxwell turned in 16 and 12, respectively. North Cobb will play for its first volleyball state title on Saturday.

North Gwinnett 3, Johns Creek 0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-19): Class AAAAAA was the only classification with all four semifinalists in search of their first-ever state titles. The visiting Bulldogs pulled off another impressive victory and took straight sets over Johns Creek to reach the finals as the No. 8 seed in the championship bracket. Carson Nevels and Taylor Spence each posted a dozen kills for North Gwinnett and Nevels and Alyssa Munlyn dominated defensively with six blocks apiece. Junior Claire Saindon handled the ball effectively and posted 30 assists in the swift three-set match.


Columbus 3, Dunwoody 1 (25-19, 20-25, 25-13, 25-22): Playing in front of a raucous student body at home, Dunwoody struggled with the height of the Blue Devils and went down in four games. Behind middle blocker Shardonee Hayes, Columbus won the first game before senior striker Paige McKnight pulled the Wildcats together to tie the match. But with three players over 6-foot which included Hayes and sophomores Jha’Meisheia Griffin and Tatyana Wyatt, Columbus was just too strong and benefited from several unforced errors in the last two matches. The Blue Devils came in seeded fourth to Dunwoody’s No. 2 slot but Columbus won the state title at Class AAAA last season and their postseason experience showed in the semifinals match.

Sequoyah 3, River Ridge 0 (25-16, 25-21, 25-13): Eighteen days after the Knights upset Sequoyah in the Area 7-AAAAA championship match, the Chiefs got revenge in front of a massive home crowd and swept the Knights in straight sets. Sequoyah’s Kelley Hartman stuffed the stat sheet with 13 kills, three blocks, two digs and two of the Chiefs’ six aces. Kali Jones posted seven kills and 16 digs, while Kulil Smith posted a game-high 19 digs to go with two kills. Lauren Hartman had five of the Chiefs’ 14 blocks. Sequoyah faces Columbus on Saturday for a shot at the program’s first state title.

Class AAAA

Buford 3, Sandy Creek 1 (25-20, 30-28, 23-25, 25-20): After defeating Sandy Creek in a hard-fought four-set classic, the Lady Wolves advanced to the state championship for the first time in program history. Freshman Tatum Shipes led the team with 24 kills while sophomore teammate Gabby Curry had 20 kills and led the team with 25 digs. Underclassmen have shone throughout Buford’s historic season and sophomore Morgan Mitchell continued the trend with 46 assists and four blocks in the victory. Buford will play Marist in the Class AAAA championship at 11 a.m. on Saturday at Marietta High School.

Marist 3, Woodward Academy 0 (25-15, 25-23, 25-23): After splitting regular season games with Woodward, the War Eagles came out on top in the semifinals, sweeping their archrival in three games. Sophomore libero Alena Cashdan led Marist in digs with 28 on the night. Sydney Leimbach had 14 digs. Juniors Kate Connolly had 11 kills and Leila King had eight. Marist looks for their seventh state volleyball title on Saturday.

Class AAA

Blessed Trinity 3, Oconee County 0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-12): The Titans are back in the finals for the third straight year after cruising past the Warriors. The Titans were led with a collective effort at the net with Sarah Parker, Emma Simonsen and Maggie Rick, each posting eight kills. Annie Dempsey had nine kills. Emma Simonsen served four of the Titans’ nine aces and added a team-high 11 assists. Rick handled the ball 52 times and collected 20 assists to go with just three errors. Blessed Trinity improved to 51-11 overall and Oconee County finished the season with a 30-16 mark.

Westminster 3, Sonoraville 0 (25-13, 25-13, 25-19): Westminster returns to the state championship in search of a seventh state title after stamping a 3-set victory over visiting Sonoraville. Freshman Gabrielle Dolan led the Wildcats with 13 kills and Kerrie Greene and Mason Rooney each posted three aces. Rooney (10) and Caroline Welsh (15) combined for 25 of Westminster’s 43 digs. Rooney also finished with a team-high 18 assists, while teammate Kerrie Greene turned in a 12-assist performance.

Class AA

Holy Innocents’ 3, St. Vincent’s Academy 0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-16): Defending Class A champion Holy Innocents’ returned to the state championship in its new Class AA home. The Golden Bears overwhelmed the visiting Saints in the serving game with 13 total aces. Sarah Porter had 27 assists and Sarah Joe led the defense with 18 of Holy Innocents’ 56 digs. Junior Haley Collins posted a team-high 15 kills.

Lovett 3, Wesleyan 1 (14-25, 25-23, 25-22, 26-24): The host Lions took the final three sets and will be looking for their second state title in three years. Harley Sebastian notched 20 of Lovett’s 47 kills. Defensively, Sarah Carpenter led the Lions with 18 digs. Sophomore Kirby Ellis tallied an outstanding 46 assists in the victory.

Class A

Hebron Christian 3, Fellowship Christian 1: (25-13, 14-25, 25-15, 26-24): The Lions advanced to the state championship for the second straight year with a hard-fought, four-set victory over the visiting Paladins. Hebron had 113 total digs in the four sets and the match featured long rallies and a lot of defense. For the Lions, Courtney Cievelli posted 26 digs and Anna Katherine Wilson led with a team-high 33 assists. Alli Johnson posted 22 kills and Regan Long finished with 11.

Savannah Christian 3, Eagle’s Landing Christian 0 (25-21, 25-20, 25-23): The Raiders traveled 223 miles to ELCA and made quick work of the Chargers. Madison Cooler had a team-high 13 kills and 10 digs in the victory, putting Savannah Christian one win away from its first volleyball state championship. For the Raiders, Lainey Aenchbacher notched 10 kills and 16 assists and Abby Simon had four kills, 16 assists and three aces.

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