GHSA Volleyball State Championship Results from Saturday

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Credit: GHSA

Credit: GHSA

North Cobb defeated 15-time state champion and Area 5 rival Walton 3-1 in the Class 7A final to win its first state title since 2014 and finish the season 42-9 overall. The Warriors scored a 3-1 win over Walton on Sept. 19, but saw a two set lead disappear in a 3-2 defeat in the region championship last month. The result was North Cobb’s first loss in 20 matches and the Warriors cruised through the playoffs to set up the rematch and take the season series over the Raiders 2-1.

The Warriors were led by senior Nikol Antova, who finished with a team-high 17 kills and concluded the postseason with 78 total kills. Teammate Sarah Boyle added seven kills and the Warriors’ defense thwarted the Raiders’ own firepower.

“The confidence we played with today came from how well we have been playing these last two months,” said North Cobb head coach Stephen Sansing. “They played great today and our defense has been a strength for us all season long.”

The two teams went back and forth in the first set before Antova secured the 25-23 victory with her team’s final two points in the set. Walton responded in the second set—jumping out to a 5-0 lead and growing it to 20-10 before capping a 25-14 victory.

Tied 1-1, North Cobb broke open a 9-9 tie with a 12-5 run to go up 21-15 and clinched a 25-15 third-set victory on a serving error by the Raiders. North Cobb opened up a 3-0 lead in the fourth set and forced a Walton timeout and then took a 10-6 lead on the longest rally of the match. North Cobb had four serves go out of bounds in the final set, but Antova continued to dominate the net and Carys Sanabaria sparked the Warriors with a kill and block to push the lead to 15-10. North Cobb enjoyed a late 22-15 lead and got its final three points on back-to-back errors and a Walton serve that went into the net to clinch the title.

Class 6A

Alpharetta closed out the final championship match with a sweep over Area 7 rival Pope to win its second all-time title since its first in 2020. The Raiders had their 32-match win-streak, which included a 3-0 win over the Greyhounds, snapped in the region championship where Pope scored a 3-1 victory. Alpharetta responded by dropping just one set in the first four rounds of the playoffs and then outclassed Pope in straight sets for the title. Class 6A Player of the Year and Georgia Tech-commit Logan Wiley established her presence with kills in four of the Raiders’ five points to stretch their lead to 21-15 in the first set. The Raiders’ other senior captain, Brooke Boyles had to tend to a scratch on her chin that momentarily stopped play and then closed out the 25-21 victory with a kill down the middle. Jala Drayton and Abigail Li provided defense throughout the match and used craftiness and athleticism to score well-placed winners.

“The pace and momentum is so important in this sport and our girls just remained locked in all match,” said Alpharetta head coach Grace Fossier. “This is such a talented team. Brooke and Logan are our captains, but we had so many girls play fantastic and girls that didn’t get a chance to play a lot tonight that have been outstanding all season.”

In the second set, Li helped push Alpharetta’s lead to 22-15 with a block, a no-look winner and an assist to Drayton. Sophomore Kennedi White closed out the second set with a winner to give the Raiders a 25-16 victory. The third set remained tight with Alpharetta clinging to an 18-16 lead before the Raiders secured a 25-21 victory. Drayton ended one of the longest rallies of the match with an over-the head diving winner to push the lead to 23-18. Pope closed the gap to 23-21 and then Boyles set up match point with a winner. The final point was won when junior Madison McLin blocked the Greyhounds at the net and found open court. The Raiders finish the year 38-3, while defending state champion Pope falls to 39-4.

Class 5A

No. 1 ranked McIntosh pulled out its third-straight five-set victory of the postseason to defeat two-time defending state champion Greater Atlanta Christian and capture its seventh all-time state title and first since 2020 when the program won four-straight. The Chiefs scored a 3-2 road win over top-seeded Jefferson in the quarterfinals and then defeated Kell 3-2 in the semifinals before closing out a 15-13 fifth-set win over the Spartans. GAC took the first set 25-19 and McIntosh went up 2-1 after a 25-16 win in the second and narrow 25-23 third-set victory. The Spartans forced a fifth set with a decisive 25-15 win in the fourth before the Chiefs secured victory. McIntosh sophomore Mya Conley (11), sophomore Claudia Meditz (9) and freshman Lina Wang (10) combined for 30 of the Chiefs’ 43 team kills, while Jacqueline Fournier (15) and Ava Underwood (14) combined for 29 of McIntosh’s 61 digs. Senior Sofia Purden recorded 37 of McIntosh’s 42 team assists. McIntosh finishes the season 31-10 and did not fall to a single opponent within Class 5A. The Spartans carried a 12-match win-streak into the finals and finish the year 33-8.

Class 4A

Pace Academy rallied back after dropping the first two sets and defeated rival Lovett in the Class 4A finals for the second-straight season to become the first program in state history to capture a seventh-straight championship. The Knights previously defeated Lovett 2-0 and 3-0 during the regular season and advanced through the first four rounds of this year’s playoffs without dropping a set. Lovett opened up a 1-0 lead with its 25-19 win in the first set and closed out a 25-20 win to take a 2-0 lead. Pace Academy responded with a 25-20 win in the third set and stormed to a 25-10 win in the fourth set before it closed out a 15-11 championship-clinching fifth. The Knights finish the season 37-3 with an 18-match win-streak.

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