• Comment

Greenbrier flips script for region championship

Posted: October 11, 2017 - 1:30am
Greenbrier’s players celebrate after winning Saturday’s Area 3-AAAAAA championship match against Lakeside at Grovetown.

After dominating in regular season play a year ago, Greenbrier's volleyball team fell short in the region tournament.

The Lady Wolfpack lost to Lakeside, took a No. 2 playoff season and got bounced in the second round of postseason play. Afterward, coach Kevin Williams put his plan in place for this season.

"We put together a tough schedule this year for that reason, so we could make some noise in state," he said. "They're still hungry. Last year we made the Sweet Sixteen and now we want to go further. That's the motivation."

The Greenbrier machine rolled its way to a region trophy, beating Lakeside twice to claim the Area 3-AAAAAA championship at Grovetown High School on Saturday.

With their first region title since 2013, the Lady Wolfpack will enter the state playoffs as a No. 1 seed and will play host to Creekview at 5 p.m. Thursday. If Greenbrier wins, it will play host to the Drew-Richmond Hill winner in the second round on Tuesday.

The Lady Wolfpack (44-2) defeated Lakeside five times this season. Greenbrier, which again entered the region tournament as the No. 1 seed, took care of business by withstanding a thrilling first match against Lakeside (2-1) to reach the championship, then swept the Lady Panthers 3-0 in the final.

"It feels amazing," said Lady Wolfpack senior Sydney Blakeney, whose team extended its winning streak to 26 matches. "We've been working so hard for this. I'm just really excited that we managed to get these (medals)."

Lakeside constantly put the Lady Wolfpack's backs against the wall in the first match before Greenbrier took a thrilling 29-27 win in the third and final set.

After Lakeside beat Grovetown 2-0 to advance to the final match, the Lady Panthers exploded out of the gate with a 7-2 lead against the Lady Wolfpack. Greenbrier responded with a 10-0 run and rolled to a 25-17 first-set win.

The run deflated Lakeside and Greenbrier never trailed the rest of the way. After controlling the second set 25-18, the Lady Wolfpack started 7-0 in the third and won 25-15 to clinch.

Blakeney paced Greenbrier (43-2) with 12 kills in the championship match. Amii Ingalls added 10 kills and Emily Nettles had seven. Lexi Rugg led with 15 digs and Ingalls notched 12.

Lakeside (29-8) will play host to Chattahoochee in the first round Thursday. Grovetown, a No. 3 seed, travels to play Lee County on Thursday in the first round. Evans will travel to play Area 1 champion Houston County.

^

In Class AA action, Harlem finished as region tournament runner-up to St. Vincent's. The Lady Bulldogs defeated Dublin and Westside to advance to the championship match, where they lost 3-0.

Harlem will play host to Spencer in the first round Tuesday, with the winner advancing to the Elite Eight.

^

Area 3-AAAAAA Championship

GREENBRIER DEF. LAKESIDE

25-17, 25-18, 25-15

Aces: Greenbrier - Lexi Rugg 3, Emily Nettles. Kills: Greenbrier - Sydney Blakeney 12, Amii Ingalls 10, Nettles 7, Kiley Kirkland. Digs: Greenbrier - Rugg 15, Ingalls 12, Claire Ballentine 6, Jillian Lui 6, Sadie Joiner 4, Kirkland 3, Nettles. Assists: Greenbrier - Lui 28.

Next: Greenbrier and Lakeside at home in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs, Thursday.

 

  • Comment