Columbus volleyball facing familiar opponent in Class AAAA semifinals

dmitchell@ledger-enquirerOctober 29, 2013 

Mike Haskey Columbus High volleyball players celebrate after winning a point during the Lady Blue Devils's second game against Chestatee Saturday afternoon at Columbus High School. 10/26/13


When Columbus High hosts Sandy Creek in the Class AAAA volleyball semifinals (5 p.m. Wednesday), revenge will be on the mind.

For both teams.

For Columbus (41-14), it’s simple: The Lady Blue Devils played Sandy Creek four times in 2012 and lost on each occasion. In fact, Columbus only lost to Sandy Creek in the final month of the season, three times, including once for the region championship and once for the state championship.

This year, though, Columbus has been the better team, winning three of the teams’ four matchups, including twice in the Region 3-AAAA tournament.

“There’s definitely a revenge factor for both teams, I think,” Columbus coach Donna Fleming said after her team’s quarterfinal win over Chestatee.

Like Columbus, the Lady Patriots (21-32) are certainly battle tested. Of the team’s 53 matches, 23 have come against teams from a higher classification in the state. Eight more came against out-of-state teams, and 17 of 53 were played against teams that are playing in a semifinal in their respective classifications.

So, despite their misleading 21-32 record, Fleming and the Lady Blue Devils know how dangerous Sandy Creek can be.

“We’re 3-1 against them this year,” Fleming said Saturday. “In the playoffs, though, records go out the window. They’re a strong team.”

Columbus, meanwhile, has had little trouble since the start of the region tournament on Oct. 8. In seven matches, the Lady Blue Devils have swept every game, never allowing more than the 23 they allowed in their opening game against Sandy Creek in the region championship.

Of Columbus’ 14 losses this season, 12 have come to teams within the state of Georgia and eight of those came against teams that are still alive in their respective playoffs.

River Ridge and Marist meet in Class AAAA’s other semifinal. The winners of both will meet at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Marietta High.

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