A rematch between two of the best teams in the state will determine a spot in this year’s Class AAAAAA championship.
Sequoyah beat Lee County in straight sets (25-13, 25-18, 25-21) Wednesday night in Leesburg to advance to its second straight state semifinal.
The Lady Chiefs will host Pope at noon Saturday. The winner will move on to face either Kennesaw Mountain or Buford for the state title next Saturday at the LakePoint Sports complex in Emerson.
It will be a rematch of last year’s state semifinal, which Sequoyah won in straight sets.
“I think both teams have a lot of angles to use for motivation,” Sequoyah coach John Edwards said. “Obviously, ours is they beat us this year, and I think they’ve got the final four rematch from last year on their minds.”
Sequoyah (34-2) fell in straight sets to Pope (29-1) in late August. The Lady Chiefs were missing several key players for the early-season matchup and should be at full strength this weekend.
Sequoyah, which extended its winning streak to 29 straight matches Wednesday, was multi-faceted in its attack against Lee County.
Paige Powers led the way with 14 kills and 10 digs, and she was joined along the front line by Sara Siefert (10 kills, 11 digs) and Catherine Brumbeloe (seven kills, two blocks, three aces).
Taylor Pecht led Sequoyah with 34 assists and five aces, while Skylar Martin added 11 digs and three aces.
Pope will be led by the Harvey sisters — senior Lily and freshman Sophie-Katherine — who are first and second on the team in kills.
The Lady Greyhounds are balanced, however. Four players have tallied more than 100 kills, five more than 20 aces, five more than 100 digs and two with more than 275 assists.
“(Pope is) a really good blocking team, and they also play really good back-row defense,” Edwards said. “You have to understand you’re not going to score every time you swing. I think patience is the biggest thing. You have to expect longer points and understand that we have to pass and defend well in order to score.”
Sequoyah will have limited capacity for Saturday’s match at the War Lodge due to social distancing, but Edwards said the atmosphere should remain potent with state semifinal energy.
“It’s not going to be as crowded as it was last year, but the good thing about our gym is that it’s small enough to make a small crowd loud,” Edwards said. “I think our girls are always going to be focused. They’re definitely up for it, but they also know it’s going to take a lot of hard work and us playing our best to advance.”