Down 16-9 in the second set of the Area 2-AAAAA championship match against Houston County, it appeared that the Greenbrier Lady Wolfpack were in some trouble.
Looks can be deceiving.
The Lady Wolfpack won 16 of the next 19 points to win the second set 25-19. Having won the first set 25-22, and with the wind out of the Lady Bears’ sails, the Lady Wolfpack cruised to an easy 25-9 win in the third set to bring home the title.
“This team is 36-1, how amazing is that?” said Greenbrier head coach Debbie Born, who was named the Area 2-AAAAA coach of the year earlier in the day. “It’s phemonemal. I can’t remember the last time I’ve won a region championship in this gym, if at all, so it’s special for the kids.”
The Lady Wolfpack enter the Class AAAAA state playoffs as a No. 1 seed and will begin play at home on Thursday. Doing well in the states is important to the team, but winning the region had a feeling all its own.
“I feel amazing right now,” said senior Jennifer Orial. “I would be satisfied if we got first in state, but this is pretty nice.”
In the championship round, the Lady Wolfpack won using the formula that has worked for them all year. They got contributions from everybody, played tough defensively and had too many offensive weapons for the Lady Bears to shut down.
Senior setter Hayley Hughes recorded 22 assists for the match, putting hitters like Gabbi Meyering (8 kills) and Area 2-AAAAA player of the year sophomore DeJhana Cotton (7 kills) in perfect position.
Senior Sarah Sather made some amazing digs, finishing with 13 and Jen Purucker was tough at the net defensively with six blocks.
The Lady Wolfpack entered the tournament with a bye on the first day of the two-day event. They beat Grovetown 25-17, 25-16, in the first match Saturday, then took down Houston County 25-14, 25-14, forcing the Lady Bears (25-12) to fight back from the losers’ bracket.
After holding on for the 25-22 win in the first set, then down 16-9, the Lady Wolfpack didn’t panic.
“I just think we kept our composure and just worked together more,” Orial said.
Hughes, Sather, and Cotton were named to the Area 2-AAAAA first team while Purucker was a second-team selectee.