Using the same basic formula all year led the Greenbrier Lady Wolfpack to a 36-1 record and a No. 1 seed in the 2012 GHSA Class AAAAA State Volleyball Tournament.
The team didn’t change that formula as it took out North Springs, 25-19, 25-21 and 29-27 at home Thursday night.
Staying at home, Greenbrier will take on the winner of Dunwoody vs. Hiram Tuesday night in the tournament’s second round.
The Lady Spartans (16-12) posed a different challenge for the Lady Wolfpack. They have three 6-footers, an intimidating sight at the onset of the match.
“It’s hard to go in not knowing what the team is like,” said Gabbi Meyering. “We just stuck together and played how we always do. We just had to play smart and really move around a lot because they had good blockers.”
The Lady Wolfpack took the first set 25-19. The Lady Spartans adjusted and gave the Lady Wolfpack fits at the net. After consecutive blocks put the Lady Wolfpack down 10-6, coach Debbie Born made adjustments.
“When you’re playing against girls who are 6-foot-2, you’re going to get blocked every time,” Born said. “You pass a little bit off the net, you set a little bit off the net so then you can maneuver around the block and then you’ll be successful. This is the best team I’ve had when it comes to making in-game changes.”
Sophomore hitter DeJhana Cotton, the Area 2-AAAAA Player of the Year, had been struggling to that point but finished with three kills the rest of the set and 11 for the match as the Lady Wolfpack won 25-21. Jen Purucker led the Lady Wolfpack with 12 kills with senior setter Hayley Hughes recording 38 assists.
A late Lady Spartans’ surge gave them a 23-19 lead in the third set. Cotton got the next three points on kills to close within 23-22, but North Springs got the next point to go up 24-22. A Lady Spartans’ hitting error and kill by Kenzie Schwartz tied the set at 24 and brought the crowd to its feet.
A Meyering kill gave the Lady Wolfpack a 25-24 lead and the teams traded points until a Meyering kill and subsequent ace ended the game at 29-27.
“It was awesome,” Meyering said of the point.
In the Class AA state tournament’s first round, Harlem (3-21) saw its season come to an end Wednesday night, losing to Westminster, 25-2, 25-6, 25-4.