Once that was out of the way, the Lady Chiefs started rolling.
After surviving a narrow first-set win, Sequoyah went on to easily take the next two and sweep Saturday’s Class AAAAA state quarterfinal at the War Lodge.
The second-seeded Lady Chiefs (39-4), who have won 29 straight matches, beat the seventh-seeded Lady Terrors 27-25, 25-9, 25-16 to advance to the state semifinals for the first time since 2004. Sequoyah will host No. 3 seed Dunwoody on Wednesday.
Logan Page finished with 19 assists, four kills, seven digs and three blocks for Sequoyah, while Kelley Hartman totaled nine kills, four blocks, three aces and three digs. Kali Jones had eight kills, 16 digs and two assists. Kayla Morris chipped in 10 digs and three aces.
“I’m lucky to have this group of girls,” Sequoyah coach John Edwards said. “They continue to be focused and work on what needs to be worked on trying to get better every time.”
The last time Sequoyah faced Glynn Academy (33-12) was in the 2010 Class AAAA state playoffs, where the Lady Chiefs posted a 3-2 victory. They hadn’t seen this year’s Lady Terrors squad, and it showed on the floor.
“Not knowing how the team was going to play, because we hadn’t actually seen them, you never know what you’ll get until you start playing them,” Edwards said. “They played well in the first (set) and made us get out of our offense. The good thing about our girls all season is that they’ve been able to figure out what the other team does and they continue to work hard.”
The first set went back-and-forth early on with the score tied at 8-all. Sequoyah managed to build a 15-9 advantage following block-assists from Page and Kelley Hartman, but a kill from Ali Kirk brought Glynn within 16-15.
The Lady Chiefs pushed ahead for a 23-18 lead after block-assists from Lane Lauletta and Kelley Hartman, but a kill from Kirk ignited a 5-0 Glynn used to tie the set at 23-all. Sequoyah had set point twice — 24-23 and 25-24 — before finally putting the Lady Terrors away behind back-to-back kills from Kelley Hartman and Page.
“Our girls have done well the last two months in the close (sets), just figuring out ways to win,” Edwards said. “It may not always be pretty, but that one play here or there, someone steps up and makes that key play that gets us to the two-point win first.”
Sequoyah cruised from that point on.
Holding a 9-7 second-set lead, the Lady Chiefs scored nine straight points off Emily Ryan’s service game for an 18-7 margin and eventually finished the set off behind the service game of Kyli Schmitt’s, who scored six of the team’s final seven points.
It was the same story in the third set as Ashlyn Brandon’s kill put Sequoyah in front 20-14. The margin grew to 24-15, and Kelley Hartman’s kill on match point provided the victory.
“I thought it was great how we played,” Page said. “We were a little nervous because we didn’t know anything about Glynn Academy going into the (match). I thought we picked it up in the second and third sets, going after the ball and not letting anything touch the ground and playing our hardest.”
This is Page’s first trip to the state semifinals.
“It’s amazing,” the junior said. “My past two years, we’ve gone out in the first round, so this is a new experience. We’ve never had this opportunity before and it feels great.”
Sequoyah’s front-line play was a big reason for the victory as the unit of Page, Lauletta, the Hartman sisters and Jones made several blocks and altered Glynn’s attacks.
“If you can get an advantage at the net, you’re going to be in pretty good shape if your passing’s good,” Edwards said. “Once we started passing better and figuring out what they were doing, then our front-line play became more apparent, and that’s definitely what helped us at the end of (the first set) and in sets two and three.”
Kirk finished with 10 kills, 16 digs and five aces for Glynn Academy. Mallori Wickard had 15 digs and nine kills, while Emily Reynolds added 21 assists. Ellie Robinson had 19 digs.