But it wasn’t going to be easy.
Sequoyah won the first two sets of the best-of-five match 25-11 and 25-19, but then Pope stepped up.
The Lady Chiefs didn’t start making mistakes. Rather, Pope started capitalizing on its opportunities and put points away. The Lady Greyhounds also stepped things up on defense.
“They hit a lot better,” Sequoyah coach John Edwards said. “They played rock-solid defense. I don’t think we made any more errors. They were just that much better at making it closer.”
The Lady Chiefs lost the next two sets 23-25 and 24-26 before holding on for a 15-12 win in the decisive fifth set.
In each of its previous two meetings with Pope, Sequoyah (36-4) had won the best-of-three matches in two sets.
“That last match was crazy,” Edwards said, “but we really saw their strength come through. In (the fifth set), I thought we had them pretty well. It was good to beat a really good team in Pope going five (sets). They are a really good team. They wanted it just as bad as we did. They are used to winning it, so I knew that, even when we got out quick and won the first two (sets), it wasn’t going to be easy.”
In order to reach the championship match, Sequoyah first had to beat North Springs 25-17, 25-16 in the semifinals.
Logan Page, who was named the area’s player of the year, finished the day with 58 assists, 12 digs, five kills, four aces, and a pair of blocks.
Performing well on defense were Gayle Morris (17 digs, six aces) and Jensyn Wells (15 digs). Kali Jones led Sequoyah with 32 kills, and she added 19 digs, three aces and three assists. Lane Lauletta (13 kills, four blocks), Kelley Hartman (10 kills, six aces, six blocks, four digs) and Lauren Hartman (14 kills, four blocks, five digs) were also key.
Hartman and Jones were named to the all-area team, as was Creekview’s Katie Creger. Edwards was voted the area’s coach of the year.
With the area championship came a No. 1 seed in the Class AAAAA state playoffs, which begin Thursday. The Lady Chiefs will host the No. 4 seed from Area 5AAAAA, which has not been determined.
Pope will be the No. 2 seed, followed by North Springs and Northview. Creekview will be the No. 5 seed and travel to Harris County.
The Lady Grizzlies lost to Northview 25-18, 25-20 to set up a win-or-go-home match with Riverwood.
Coach Abigail Jackson made a few lineup changes going into the pivotal match, and they paid off with the Lady Grizzlies defeating Riverwood 25-21, 25-22.
Lori Estes led Creekview with 29 assists and nine digs. Kaley Edgar added seven kills and seven digs, while Creger had eight blocks, eight kills and three aces. Mary Nell Williams had seven kills and Sarah Schwarzman had four kills and three blocks.