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Greenbrier cruises past Hiram in first round of state volleyball playoffs

GREENBRIER 3, HIRAM 0

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In the state playoffs, teams typically face opponents with whom they are unfamiliar.

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Greenbrier's Jennifer Purucker makes a dive but can't make the save in a game against Hiram High. Greenbrier swept the series.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Greenbrier's Jennifer Purucker makes a dive but can't make the save in a game against Hiram High. Greenbrier swept the series.

That’s where scouting reports come in handy.

However, the scouting process can confound potential opponents of Greenbrier’s volleyball squad.

“We always try to get scouting reports on different teams,” Wolfpack head coach Debbie Born said. “I asked my team today, ‘What do they say about us?’

“There’s really not one hero on our team,” she stressed. “Everybody that’s playing is an impact player, so it’s kind of tough to scout us.”

That characteristic was on full display Thursday, as Greenbrier dominated visiting Hiram 25-18, 25-8 and 25-7 in the first round of the Class AAAA state playoffs.

In the three-game sweep, eight different Greenbrier players had at least one kill.

“The teamwork and communication, it’s incredible,” Born said. “We’re on fire right now.”

The clean match for the Wolfpack (27-5) came after they tore through the Region 2-AAAA Tournament to secure a No. 1 seed for state.

In Game 1, Greenbrier finished strong, with a 5-0 run that featured a pair of kills by Jennifer Purucker.

The junior had five of her eight kills in the first game.

The Hornets (39-7) went up early in Game 2, but the deficit didn’t last long for the Wolfpack.

Down 4-1, they went on a 14-0 run on Hayley Hughes’ serve. She had a pair of aces to finish off the flurry.

“I honestly don’t know whenever I’m playing how many it is, but I can feel that it’s a lot,” said the junior, who had four aces in total. “I try to keep that out of my mind while I’m playing and just focus on each serve.”

Alex Powell capped off a runaway Game 2 win with a late kill and an ace. She had eight kills and five aces.

Senior setter Kayla Berns finished with 23 assists.

Another mid-game run, this time in Game 3, allowed the Wolfpack to breeze into the second round.

They’ll play host to the Johns Creek vs. Sequoyah winner. Both are ranked in the top 10 in the state.

Hornets head coach Kevin Thomas said that despite his team setting a school record for wins this season, slow starts have been an issue. It was no different Thursday.

“We started playing better in the first game, but Greenbrier just limited their mistakes,” Thomas noted.


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