High school volleyball roundup: Kendrick, Columbus advance

October 22, 2013 

Kendrick High School has reached its season-long goal of making it past the second round of the playoffs with a resounding 3-0 victory over visiting Chattooga High School Tuesday.

"The goal was to make it past the second round," Kendrick coach Sterling Hicks said.

"We're trying to make it to the final four in volleyball because everyone has a perception of us being a basketball school. We want to show them we can play volleyball too."

The Cherokees were never challenged as they took an early 4-0 lead in the first game on the serve of Brittany Thompson.

Taylor Farley had two kills in the early rally. Thompson had 11 service points on the night. Farley had 11 kills.

Kahlia Lawrence had eight of her 11 service points including four aces to push the score from 14-8 to 21-8 in game one.

Farley had three more kills during the rally that sent the Cherokees to a 25-16 win in game 1.

In game 2 Kendrick got out to a 7-1 lead behind the serve of Ashunti Jack with four straight service points.

Lawrence had three of her game high 12 kills during the rally.

Margarnique McKissic had two kills in the game and the final four service points to push the Cherokees to a 25-14 win and a 2-0 score.

Game 3 stayed a closer longer as Kendrick led only 11-6 through the first rotation of serves.

When first server Thompson retained her serve for the second time in the game she reeled off five straight service points to push the lead to 17-6.

Lawrence with 5 kills and Farley with four in the third game were too much for the Indians to overcome and Kendrick won game three 25-10 for the sweep.

"We're just going to take it one game at a time according to the matchups," Hicks continued.

"That plays a big part in how well you do. You may play someone just as athletic as you. It can be a war of attrition and last longer.

"We're about to start practicing. We definitely didn't play

the way we want. I thought we came out a little too anxious early.

"I have been harping on them all year about making it past the second round. In the past we win the first round and lose the second round."

Tuesday at Kendrick

Chattooga 16 14 10

Kendrick 25 25 25

Leaders- Chattooga- Sara Birge 6 service points, Tiffany McGraw 7 kills, 3 service points,Kim Hamby 5 service points. Kendrick- Kahlia Lawrence 12 kills, 11 service points, Brittany Thompson 11 service points, Ashunti Jack 2 kills, 9 service points, Taylor Farley 11 kills, 5 service points, Margarnique McKissic 5 kills, 5 service points.

-- Brian Dansby

Columbus 3, Chamblee 0

Columbus' match against Chamblee ended as it began, and that was good news for the Lady Blue Devils.

They scored the first seven points of the Class AAAA second-round playoff match and the last 11, leading them to a 3-0 sweep at home on Tuesday.

With the win, Columbus advances to the state quarterfinals, where it has played every year since 2004.

"They've worked hard," coach Donna Fleming said after the match.

"They've trained a lot. These are the fruits of their labor."

While their labor has come through hard work in practice, the Lady Blue Devils hardly had to labor through Tuesday's match.

They won 25-6, 25-14 and 25-6, trailing only once and stringing together runs of five or more points on five different occasions.

They never allowed Chamblee to score more than three consecutive points, and that happened on only two occasions.

Serving was particularly efficient for Columbus, as it totaled 21 aces as a team.

"Serving was really strong for us," Fleming said. "It became real dominant."

Madison Fleming and Nancy Hatcher each totaled two aces serving for the Lady Blue Devils.

They also had plenty of success at the net, led by Brianna Gogins and Shardonee Hayes, who had eight and nine kills, respectively.

Madison Fleming notched 22 assists to drive the effort.

Gogins said a lot of the team's chemistry at the net comes down to who's in the best shape and who knows each other well.

Columbus, which has plenty of experience, has practiced well as a team since the summer.

"We just keep or skills up," she said. "We've been practicing together since June 1, so we know each other well."

Columbus trailed only once the entire match, 3-2 in the early stages of the final game.

It erased that deficit quickly, scoring the next four points, the final 11 points and 23 of the last 26 overall.

In addition to her eight kills, Gogins also notched one ace, one block and two digs.

Hayes had two blocks and two digs to go with her nine kills, and Fleming had a block and three digs with her 22 assists and two aces.

Also leading the effort were Natalie Twyford (four kills, one block and three digs) and Nancy Hatcher (seven digs, two aces and one kill).

Columbus will await word of its next opponent, which will be decided at a seeding meeting today.

The final eight teams in the playoffs will be reseeded Nos. 1-8, with the top four teams to host a quarterfinal match on Saturday.

Based on its success this season and in the past, it's likely Columbus will be among the top teams.

The other teams in the quarterfinals are River Ridge, Marist, Carrollton, Locust Grove, Chestatee, Sandy Creek and Walnut Grove.

Follow David on Twitter @leprepsports or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ledgerenquirersports.

Tuesday at Columbus

Chamblee 6 14 6

Columbus 25 25 25

Team Leaders: Columbus, Brianna Gogins 8 kills, 1 ace, 1 block, 2 digs, Shardonee Hayes 9 kills, 2 blocks, 2 digs, Natalie Twyford 4 kills, 1 block, 3 digs, Nancy Hatcher 7 digs 2 aces, 1 kill, Madison Fleming 22 assists, 2 aces, 1 block, 3 digs. Record: Columbus, 40-14. Next: Saturday, TBD.

-- David Mitchell dmitchell@ledger-enquirer.com

Greenbrier 3, Northside 2

EVANS, Ga. -- At the end of Greenbrier High School's five-game win over Northside in the second round of the Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA state playoffs Tuesday night, the student body stormed the court.

What they witnessed was the Lady Wolfpack salvaging their season in improbable fashion, coming back to win over a talented Lady Patriots squad after dropping the first two games.

"This is the best comeback of my career," said Debbie Born, the Lady Wolfpack's head coach since the school opened in 1996.

Like the entire match, the Lady Wolfpack made the fifth game hard on themselves.

Up 12-8, Greenbrier let the Lady Patriots (29-13) come back to tie the game at 13.

Lauren Ingalls set up DeJhana Cotton for one of her team-high 23 kills to take a 14-13 lead, then they celebrated wildly as the Lady Patriots' last hit attempt fell harmlessly into the net.

The Lady Wolfpack got to the fifth game after breaking a 22-22 game-four tie with Cotton and Gabbi Meyering kills sandwiching a Northside Columbus error for the win.

The Lady Wolfpack dropped the first two games 25-17, 25-20, before the teams took a 10-minute break.

After the Lady Patriots' outside hitters pounded hit attempts for kills repeatedly in the first two games, they began making errors. Born said the change was simple.

Tuesday at Greenbrier

Northside 25 25 14 22 13

Greenbrier 17 21 25 25 15

Team Leaders: Northside-- Carli Smart 6 aces, 6 digs, 11 kills, 4 blocks, 4 assists; Lindsay Shirah 10 kills, dig, block; Katie Jordan 6 kills, dig; Caitlyn Jakes 5 kills, 8 blocks; Morganne Harper 2 aces, 4 digs. Record: Northside-- 30-13.

-- Scott Rouch, Augusta Chronicle

ST. VINCENT'S 3, SPENCER 0

SAVANNAH, Ga. -- St. Vincents swept past Spencer in three sets on Tuesday in the second round of the Class AA state tournament.

-- Kevin Price, kprice@ledger-enquirer.com

Central 3, Smiths Station 0; Auburn 3, Central 0

SMITHS STATION, Ala. -- Central defeated Smiths Station 3-0 before falling to Auburn 3-0.

The Lady Red Devils now move on to the super-regional tournament in Montgomery, Ala., starting Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday at Smiths Station

Central 25 25 25

Smiths 22 19 22

Match two

Central 14 17 15

Auburn 25 25 25

Leaders: Central--Victoria Ficklin 5 aces, 4 kills, 40 assists; Erin Spencer 5 aces, 11 kills, 40 blocks; Jekia Owens 4 kills, 25 blocks; Anthonia Oladejo 3 aces, 7 blocks; Kim Clark 28 digs; Smiths Station, (n). Records: Central--18-12.Next match: Central at super-regional in Montgomery, Ala., Friday 5:30 p.m.

-- Staff report

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