2021 GHSA Volleyball State Championship Recap

Buford wins the Class 6A state championship
Buford wins the Class 6A state championship

Credit: GHSA

Credit: GHSA

A total of seven state champions were crowned on Saturday at the 2021 GHSA Volleyball State Championships at LakePoint Sports Complex in Cartersville. The action began with the Class A Private final between Mt. Paran Christian and Athens Academy. The Eagles won the first two sets 25-12 and 25-19, but Athens Academy sparked a 25-16 win in the third set before Mt. Paran’s 25-18 victory in the decisive fourth set. The win gives Mt. Paran its second all-time state title and second crown since 2018. Strong play from outside hitter Sarah Schwartz helped Mt. Paran’s strong opening set and Kara Dunn and Kaitlyn Moran came up with key blocks to spark a 6-1 run that fueled the Eagles’ 25-12 win. The Eagles kept that momentum going into the second set and opened up a 5-0 lead before closing out the 25-19 victory.

“Our libero (Paige Armstong) was the only other player from the last state championship team in 2018,” head coach Selina Chancy told the Marietta Daily Journal. “She was a setter and her leadership she has shown over the years is one the reasons where we are today. She was not letting anything drop and I think that just got everyone fired up. I was very impressed with the blocking by Kara (Dunn). A lot of people say blocking is not important in high school but I disagree. I think that’s what sets us apart.”

Mt. Paran closes out its season with a 36-7 record and did not drop a single match to a Class A Private opponent through the entirety of the 2021 season.

Class 7A

Walton 3, Alpharetta 1 Walton pulled away from Alpharetta and won its state-record 15th all-time state title. Alpharetta denied Walton a sixth-straight title at last year’s finals with a 3-1 victory, but came up short in its attempt to defend its program’s first-ever championship. Walton previously defeated Alpharetta 2-0 on Aug. 20 and closes out its season 27-6 after sweeping its two showdowns with Alpharetta this season. Walton opened up a 25-17 win in the first set and then went up 2-0 with a 25-20 win in the second set. Alpharetta forced a fourth set with a 26-24 win before Walton’s championship-clinching 25-18

Class 6A

Buford 3, Sequoyah 1: Buford won its fourth-state title since 2015 and avenged a 2-1 loss to Sequoyah on Oct. 5 with a 3-1 win over the Chiefs. The Wolves won the first set 25-18 and rallied back to take a 2-0 lead with a 28-26 win in the second set. Sequoyah forced a fourth set with a 27-25 win in the third, before Buford clinched the title with a 25-22 win.

Class 5A

St. Pius 3, Greenbrier 0: St. Pius won its third all-time state title (2013, 2018) and picked up its 37th-straight victory in a 3-0 sweep over Greenbrier. The Wolfpack were attempting to win their first-ever state title and entered the finals with a 36-2 overall record and no losses within the state. Greenbrier started off with a 3-0 lead, but St. Pius rallied back and secured a 25-18 win in the first set before cruising to a 25-12 win in the second set and a 25-16 victory in the third.

Class 4A

Marist 3, Flowery Branch 1: Marist defending its state title and closed out the 2021 season with a flawless record in Class 4A with a four-set victory over Flowery Branch. The War Eagles took a 25-18 victory in the opening set, but Flowery Branch evened it up with a 25-23 win in the second set. Marist ran away with a 25-15 victory in the third set and then closed out the championship with a 25-22 win in the decisive fourth set.

Class 3A

Greater Atlanta Christian 3, Sandy Creek 1: Area 5 rivals Sandy Creek and Greater Atlanta Christian met for the third time this season and the Spartans completed the season sweep with a tight four-set victory over the Patriots (25-27, 25-23, 25-23, 25-14) and won the first state title in program history.

Class 2A/A

Public Pace Academy 3, Gordon Lee 1: Four-time defending state champion Pace Academy defeated Gordon Lee in four sets in a rematch of its 2-0 victory over the Trojans back on Aug. 14. The Knights took the first set 25-20 and then went up 2-0 after a 25-16 win in the second set. Gordon Lee forced a fourth set with a 25-22 win in the third before the Knights scored a championship-clinching 25-21 win.