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Westside volleyball storms to area title

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The Westside volleyball team quietly controlled Area 3-AA throughout the season, and the result was a title that sets up a favorable matchup in the state tournament.

TEAM PAGE: Harlem Bulldogs

The Lady Patriots, 8-1 in area play, took down A.R. Johnson 25-13, 25-13, 25-18 to win the crown.

The game was expected to be close, as the two teams were tied for 10th in Class AA in the latest PrepCountry.com/GACA Coaches Poll. A.R. Johnson defeated Westside in the first area match of the season, but Westside had squared the season series at 1 in earlier this month.

“Our girls just really came out to play,” Westside coach Brian Hadden said. “We missed very few serves and we got to almost all the balls that A.R. Johnson sent back our way, and we did not make the unforced errors that had plagued us during the year.”

The Lady Patriots will host Lamar on Wednesday in the first round of the Class AA State Tournament.

PUSHING THE RIGHT BUTTONS: While Greenbrier’s volleyball team has 33 shutouts out of 36 wins, the Lady Wolfpack have had to use adjustments and comebacks within sets to take home several wins. None were more noticeable than the Area-2 AAAAA championship game against Houston County on Saturday.

The Lady Wolfpack were down 16-9 in the second set before mounting a comeback to win 25-19. They used the momentum to sweep the Lady Bears and take home the area title.

“What’s so awesome about this group of girls is they’re willing to make the adjustments to win,” Greenbrier coach Debbie Born said. “This is probably one of the best groups I’ve ever had at doing that. They get determined, and it’s great to see.”

Greenbrier will host North Springs in the first round of the Class AAAAA State Tournament on Thursday.

LEADING THE WAY: Another strong performance from one of the top softball pitchers in the area pushed her team deeper into the state playoffs.

Harlem’s Amber Garrett pitched 14 innings against McIntosh County Academy in the first round of the Class AA State Tournament on Wednesday, allowing just one run on eight hits in two wins. While Harlem’s offense met up with a tough pitcher in Summer Wright, scoring five runs off her in the two games, Garrett held the Lady Buccaneers at bay to advance.

The Lady Bulldogs will host Bleckley County in the second round Thursday.

While Harlem and Greenbrier advanced to the second round of its state tournaments, Evans was defeated by Effingham County 8-4, 4-2 to be eliminated from the Class AAAAA tournament. Cross Creek lost 4-0, 7-0 to West Laurens in the first round of the Class AAAA tournament to be eliminated, and Burke County was swept by Rutland.

Thomson took Pike County to three games in the first round of the Class AAA tournament after winning the first game 3-1, but Pike County won 2-0 and 8-4 in the next two to advance and send Thomson home.

Washington-Wilkes beat Bowdon in the first round of the Class AA tournament, including a 3-0 win in the third and deciding game. The Lady Tigers advanced to the second round to play Wesleyan on Wednesday.

Aquinas plays Savannah Christian on the road in the first round of the Class A private tournament on Wednesday.


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