CANTON — Sequoyah seems to have picked the perfect time of the season to be playing its best volleyball.
Playing at home in front of friends and family, the Lady Chiefs defeated Dacula in straight sets (25-7, 25-11, 25-10) Saturday in the second round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs. The match took less than an hour to complete and it was the second-straight dominant playoff win following a 3-0 defeat of defending state champion Allatoona earlier in the week.
Sequoyah will travel to Lee County (31-7) on Wednesday for an appearance in their second-straight state quarterfinal. The time of the match has yet to be determined.
“I think our level of focus is really high right now which is probably the thing I’m most proud of right now,” Sequoyah coach John Edwards said. “For me, I’m just trying to make sure we’re ready to play regardless of who the opponent is, regardless of where.”
Saturday’s match was an impressive performance by the Lady Chiefs who seem determined to make a run at the program’s first state title since 2014. Sequoyah (33-2) was led by its senior outside hitter Paige Powers, who finished with a team-high 19 kills, four digs and two serving aces. Sophomore setter Taylor Pecht was in perfect rhythm with her teammates, finishing with 42 assists, while fellow sophomore Skylar Martin saved a number of points with dynamic digs, finishing with a team-high 19.
Sara Siefert (nine kills and 10 digs) and Catherine Brumbeloe (six kills and four aces) also continued to serve as key pieces to a balanced Sequoyah lineup.
Following a relatively smooth first set, Sequoyah saw a bit of adversity in the second set when Dacula took a 7-6 lead. The momentum shift was short-lived, however, as Sequoyah went on a 14-2 run to retake control. The Lady Chiefs closed out the second set and used runs of five-straight points and six-straight points to pull away in the third set.
Edwards began to sub out his starters late in the third set and said his players enjoy the atmosphere provided by their home fans.
“The more people in the gym, the better they’re going to play,” Edwards said. “It’s always been like that with this group. When it’s loud it’s even better for them.”
Following a state-runner up finish last season, the improvement of Sequoyah’s best players seems evident as this year’s playoffs move forward.
“When your best players are also your hardest workers it’s going to help because you gotta keep up,” Edwards said. “Everybody we have is a little bit better than last year, if not a lot better, and it’s just fun to see what they’ve put into it.”