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This is volleyball country
There are six classifications in the Georgia High School Association this year. If we count Landmark Christian School as part of Fayette County (which we do because the school is located close to the Fayette border and has numerous students from the county), there were four teams playing in state championships in three different classifications either Saturday or Monday.
The local teams won all three titles.
Landmark Christian School (41-14) started things off Saturday morning with a 3-1 win over Walker (25-18, 25-17, 23-25, 27-25).
“Walker competes at a high level - their middle hitter and libero are both outstanding -,” said Landmark coach Sherri Creamer. “We know their team well having faced them twice this year. We could prepare for their strengths and we knew what we were facing.”
Creamer stated that one of the keys to the Lady War Eagles’ outstanding season was great leadership from their seniors; Kierstin Cusumano, Tiffany Creamer and Mary Michael McCathren. The other key was playing a schedule that pitted her team against the elite teams from other classifications.
“It really took our game up to another level,” Creamer said. Her team defeated Class AAAA state champs, Sandy Creek, twice and lost to Class AAAAA state champ Whitewater twice.
Landmark will graduate three seniors from this year’s squad but will have four on next year’s roster. The experience that freshmen Alleigh Wettstein and Jenny Luckie and sophomore Abby Johns received this year will also be invaluable as they seek consecutive state titles.
The state championship in volleyball is Landmark Christian School’s third.
The Lady Patriots’ Volleyball team are state champs for the second year in a row.
Sandy Creek played region rival Columbus in the Class AAAA state championship Saturday, November 3 where the Patriots proved to be the stronger team, winning three sets to Columbus’ one. This was the fourth time these two teams have competed in the last month with Creek claiming victory each time.
“I think it was a very exciting match to be a part of,” said Coach Paul Collins. “I felt proud to come out on top.”
The Lady Patriots took a quick two-set lead winning 25-17 and 25-23 respectively. After a brief intermission the two teams went back at it with Columbus taking the third set, 25-16.
As the fourth set began both teams were running on emotion as their training kicked in. It was a hard fought battle with both teams rallying and taking the lead at different points during the set. They tied at 23 points and then fought neck and neck until Columbus misread a bump and Sandy Creek was awarded the victory. The score stood Sandy Creek: 27, Columbus: 25.
“I just think that the girls never gave up,” Collins said. “We lost one set and fell behind a few times, but in spite of that we fought back.”
Junior Madison Farr came in for Tori Sellers and performed well with three kills and two aces. But it was senior Allie Davenport who shined for the Patriots that night. With over 21 kills, 11 digs, and two aces, she was a key part to Sandy Creek’s attack. Freshman Alexis Broadwater led the team in assists with 37; she also had seven kills and two aces. Junior Sydney Wilson had ten kills and senior Alisha Erves had six kills and two blocks. Libero Annie FitzGerald also led a strong defense with over 12 digs on the night.
“I thought we had an excellent season,” said Collins. “We talked about how few teams have the chance to win back-to-back state titles and we accomplished what we set out to do. We reached the goal of winning another state championship.”
The state championship in volleyball was Sandy Creek’s third.
On Monday night, Whitewater (53-3) captured their second state title in volleyball. The Lady Wildcats faced McIntosh (48-6) at McEachern High School and won the Class AAAAA state title 25-20, 23-25, 25-17, 25-22.
The team was led by Teegan Van Gunst, who had 24 kills on the night, and her sister, Annika, who had 14, including the match winning point in the deciding game. Junior Kait Steele had 51 assists on the night and senior Abby Baker added 22 digs. Whitewater will graduate nine seniors from the championship team but will have four on next year’s team to help lead a new batch of varsity volleyball players.
Of Whitewater’s three losses this season, two were to teams in Class AAA, state runner-up St. Pius X, and Woodward Academy, and one was to a team from Tennessee. Whitewater took on McIntosh four times this season and won all four times.
Outside of their losses to Whitewater, McIntosh’s only other losses this season were to AAA state champion Blessed Trinity and AAAAAA state runner-up Harrison.
McIntosh will graduate five seniors from this year’s team but will have six on next year’s squad. Junior Rhana Mitchell had 19 digs in the championship game, while Ashley Young had 11 kills.
Sandy Creek senior Jacob Renie assisted with this story.