During their recent run of success, the Walton Lady Raiders faced differing opponents in the volleyball title game, but the results remained the same — championships.

This year’s obstacle in the Class AAAAAA final was Chattahoochee, but the outcome again favored Walton, who won 3-1 (27-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-19) to claim its fourth consecutive state championship. Walton’s overall volleyball title count increased to nine, which ranks second in Georgia.

“I’m so proud of this team. The girls stayed together and believed in each other. Walton is in a community where people are extremely supportive. The parents get the girls in club teams and our fans are extraordinary,” Raiders coach Suzanne Fitzgerald said.

While Friday’s win was special for the community, it holds extra sentiments for the seniors. They capped off their careers with another state championship banner.

“When I came in as a freshman, I never thought that this would be part of my legacy to win four championships in a row,” Walton senior middle blocker Leah Jackson said. “We accomplished our goals, and it was a team effort.”


Last year this time, McIntosh had enough talent, but lacked the execution and ultimately fell short in the championship game.

Fast forward to 2013, and after 365 days of agonizing over what would’ve, could’ve and should’ve been, the Chiefs executed their talent to perfection by knocking off Sequoyah, 3-1 (25-11, 25-18, 21-25, 25-15), to clinch the Class AAAAA volleyball crown.

“From the first day we got together this summer, winning the championship has been our focus,” McIntosh coach Wendy Weaver said. “Playing aggressively has been the key for us all season, especially tonight (Friday). We kept them (Sequoyah) on their heels, which allowed us to control the pace.”

McIntosh is a veteran-laden team, and its seniors showed up in big fashion when it counted the most.

Outside hitters Abbi Schelkopf and Rhana Mitchell put up solid numbers all evening, as Schelkopf recorded 18 digs and Mitchell added 12 digs with 20 kills.

Setters Mollie Michel and Rhegan Mitchell, Rhana’s twin sister, conducted the flow on offense with fluidity, posting 24 and 19 assists apiece.