The Lady Chiefs reached the gold bracket of the 23rd Sequoyah Classic by stringing together victories over Northside-Columbus (25-18, 23-25, 18-16) and Whitewater (25-12, 25-22) on Friday night, and Houston County (25-9, 25-20) on Saturday morning. Sequoyah then beat Newnan (25-21, 30-28) in a hard-fought match to set up a showdown with county rival Woodstock.
The Lady Chiefs easily handled the Lady Wolverines 25-11, 25-20 to move into the semifinals.
It was there that Sequoyah ran into South Forsyth, the eventual tournament champion, and lost 25-20, 25-22.
Logan Page led Sequoyah with 106 assists, eight blocks, seven aces and 25 digs in the tournament. Kali Jones notched 51 kills, 35 digs and five aces. Kayla Morris added 36 digs and three aces.
Kelley Hartman finished with 21 kills, 10 aces, seven blocks and seven digs, while Lauren Hartman had 10 kills, nine blocks and seven digs.
Jensyn Wells added 27 digs and five aces, while Lane Lauletta had 13 kills and five blocks.
In the other half of the bracket, Pope and Roswell met in the semifinals, with the Lady Greyhounds winning easily.
“Coaches got to see what they wanted to see, as far as early season, and what they needed to work on,” Sequoyah coach John Edwards said. “I think it was good for everybody.”
Edwards said his team still has a few kinks to work out, but he was pleased with the third-place finish.
“There are some little things that we need to work on, but it’s early in the season,” he said. “I was pleased with our effort. We haven’t always had that at our first game. We did a lot of things I didn’t think we would be able to do yet, so I’m pretty excited about getting back in the gym and practicing every day to continue to get better.”
From the start, Edwards felt Sequoyah had a chance to be the team to advance from its pool and into the semifinals.
“You just never know how good other teams are going to be,” he said. “We played really well. I give it to South Forsyth, who ended up winning it. To be able to play close to a team that wins it all, you have to take something away from that.”
Creekview, which hosted the final matches for the silver bracket, played its way into the gold bracket, but lost in the first round.
The Lady Grizzlies, who went 1-1 on Friday night, rebounded with a 25-14, 25-15 victory over Marietta on Saturday morning to wrap up pool play.
They also met up with South Forsyth and were swept in the first round of the gold bracket. Creekview fell into the consolation match and faced Sonoraville, only to lose to the Lady Phoenix.
Creekview was led by Lori Estes, who recorded 38 assists and seven digs in six matches. Kayley Edgar added 10 kills, 14 digs and five blocks. Katie Creger led the team with 12 blocks.
Creekview coach Abigail Jackson said it was more satisfying to play in the gold bracket and lose than it would have been with the chance to win the silver bracket.
“We like winning,” Jackson said. “You play better competition in the gold bracket, so obviously we wouldn’t trade losing a couple of games in the gold bracket for a championship in the silver bracket.”
One of Creekview’s starters suffered what could be a season-ending injury in the first set of the tournament. From there, Jackson said there was some rearranging of the lineup.
“We had to make some adjustments very quickly,” she said. “Some people who hadn’t been in the starting lineup in practice had to step up and play after that, and I don’t think they were quite as prepared as they thought they were.”
Now, Jackson said it will all about getting the remaining players to jell.
“Being the first tournament and getting out there to play after being away from each other for about nine months, we are still seeing what develops,” she said.