With Gabbi Meyering and DeJhana Cotton the only returning starters from Greenbrier High School’s 2012 state playoff team, the postseason was a new experience for the majority of the 2013 team.
While it took a little while for the team to really get going, the Lady Wolfpack, who entered as the No. 1 seed from Area 2, was still too strong for Area 6’s No. 4 team, sweeping past the Stephenson Lady Jaguars, 25-22, 25-19, 25-15.
“I guess I was kind of nervous because this is the first state playoff game and it’s like we either make it or break it, and if we don’t win we have to go home,” said junior Sarah White. “I was nervous that if I made mistakes I would let my team down.”
White was a key part to the Lady Wolfpack’s success Thursday night.
While Cotton led the team with 13 kills, White and Meyering each had seven kills and White’s serving helped hold off the Lady Jaguars.
The Lady Wolfpack (27-14) built a cushion in the first two games, but the Lady Jaguars fought back to make it close each time.
After the Lady Jaguars (21-5) rallied for three consecutive points to tie game one at 20, the Lady Wolfpack went on a 5-2 run, capped by White’s ace for the final point. In the second game, with the Lady Wolfpack holding a tenuous 22-19 lead, White fired off another ace and the Wolfpack won the next two points for the win.
“She’s like an unsung hero, she (White) does a lot of things for us,” said Lady Wolfpack head coach Debbie Born. She kind of goes under the radar.”
In the final game the Lady Wolfpack quickly built a seven-point advantage at 10-3, but once again the Lady Jaguars came back to get within 13-11. The Lady Wolfpack regained control for good at that point, winning 12 of the next 16 points for the win.
“We’re the type of team that’s always back-and-forth, we’re still building,” said junior setter Lauren Ingalls, who had 24 assists. “We are learning as we go along and that’s what I love about us.”
Born loves what her team is bringing to the floor each time out.
“We’re peaking when we need to peak,” Born said. “I think they finally kind of understand the kind of focus and intelligence it needs and what kind of intelligence it takes to win in volleyball. It’s a smart girl’s game, it’s a thinking girl’s game.”
In the second round, the Lady Wolfpack will face the Northside Columbus-Allatoona winner at home on Tuedsay night and Born knows they’ll have to step their game up a notch.
“In this round we made mistakes but they made mistakes, so it kind of evened out,” Born said. “It’s not going to happen next round. We’ve only got 16 teams left in the state of Georgia.”