Kendrick volleyball coach Sterling Hicks was happy but unsatisfied with his team’s performance in a first-round sweep of Johnson-Augusta on Wednesday at home.
The Lady Cherokees knocked out Johnson to advance to the second round of the Georgia High School Association Class AA playoffs, winning 25-3, 25-14 and 25-10.
Having lost in the second round in each of the past three seasons, though, Hicks knows that an effort that wins in the first round may not be enough in a significantly more difficult second-round match.
“I thought we were focused in that first game, but then we kind of lost it in the others,” he said. “We’ve got to stay focused. Can’t go to sleep.”
He was referring to the manner in which Kendrick easily dispatched of its opponent in Game 1. It allowed only three points, none of which came consecutively. It raced out to a 9-0 lead, then 21-2 and never really looked back.
The second and third games offered a little bit more of a challenge, though. Not so much because of the resistance of the opponents, but because of a handful of unforced errors. Johnson scored four consecutive points during one stretch, cutting Kendrick’s lead to 18-7. It did the same in Game 3 to cut the lead to 19-7.
“We’re going to have to do a little better to make it out of the second round,” he said.
The team has lost just once this year and will host its second-round match, which will be against Chatooga at 5 p.m. next Tuesday at home.
The Lady Cherokees were led by Kahlia Lawrence’s 11 kills and Ashunti Jack’s 12 assists. Melia Jones had 7 assists and 1 kill, and Taylor Farley had 8 kills.
COLUMBUS 3, GILMER 0
The Columbus volleyball team swept Gilmer 25-12, 25-4, 25-10 to advance to the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs.
It will face Chamblee in the second round next Tuesday.
The Lady Blue Devils (39-12) were led by Brianna Gogins (16 kills, 2 aces), Shardonee Hayes (8 kills, 1 block), Britanny Griner (6 kills, 2 digs), Ki’Anna Duncan (30 digs, 5 aces, 1 assist) and Madison Fleming (37 assists, 8 aces, 6 digs).
Their second-round match will be at 5 p.m. next Tuesday at home.
SPENCER 3, JOSEY 1
Spencer defeated Josey in four matches (25-7, 24-26, 25-10, 25-16) to advance to the second round for the second consecutive season.
It will travel to top-seed St. Vincent’s next Tuesday for the second round.
The Lady Greenwave were led by Jkierreia Garrett (4 kills), Tatyana Griffin (10 aces), Jorden Walmsley (8 digs), and Alexus Griffin and Deyja Elmore (5 assists apiece).
Wednesday at Kendrick
Johnson 3 14 10
Kendrick 25 25 25
Team stats: Kendrick, Lawrence 11 kills, Jack 12 assists, Jones 7 assists, Farley 8 kills. Records: Kendrick, 22-1. Next: Kendrick, Tues. vs. Chatooga at home.
Wednesday at Columbus
Gilmer 12 4 10
Columbus 25 25 25
Team stats: Columbus, Gogins 16 kills, 2 aces, Hayes 8 kills, 1 block, Griner 6 kills, 2 digs, Duncan 30 digs, 5 aces, Fleming 37 assists, 8 aces, 6 digs. Records: Columbus, 39-12. Next: Columbus, Tues. vs. Chamblee/Mary Persons at home.
Wednesday at Spencer
Josey 7 26 10 16
Spencer 25 24 25 25
Team stats: Spencer, Garrett 4 kills, T. Griffin 10 aces, Walmsley 8 digs, A. Griffin 5 assists, Elmore 5 assists. Records: Spencer, 14-7. Next: Spencer, Tues. at St. Vincent’s