Two months and 41 games after the start of the season, the Lady Hornets finished 31-10. Prior to the season opener, the team set a goal to make it to playoffs and they were happy to accomplish that.
“It felt great. It was one of our season goals this year, so it’s always too good to achieve your pre-season goals,” said head coach Kevin Thomas.
In round one, Hiram played Dunwoody. Going into the game, Thomas said he knew the competition would be high since this was a state tournament match.
“We were expecting to play against a great team that was experienced. The competition is always higher in the state tournament, so we knew that we would have to up our level of play to be successful and get a win,” said Thomas.
The Lady Hornets defeated Dunwoody, 3-2 and advanced to round two to face Greenbrier.
“Advancing to the second round was a big accomplishment. This is the farthest that our volleyball program has advanced in the state,” Thomas said.
Unfortunately, while the team did make it further than any other team in the program, they were stopped in their pursuit of the state championship by their own mistakes and failure to correct them, the coach said.
“The team played good against Greenbrier, not great. But we just made too many unforced errors, while they limited their mistakes. You can’t win on that level while shooting yourself in the foot repeatedly,” Thomas said.
Hiram fell to the Greenbrier Wolf Pack, 3-0. Greenbrier, however, had only lost one match all season and had a record of 38-1.
There were several Hiram players who played well during the state playoffs.
“Sydney Cooley and McKenzie Chambers were the strongest hitters, tallying more than 35 kills collectively in the two state tournament matches. Our libero Yasmine Thurston also provided pinpoint passing throughout both matches,” Thomas said.
During the playoffs Cooley had 11 kills against Dunwoody and another 11 against Greenbrier. Chambers had nine kills against Dunwoody and four against Greenbrier. Thurston racked up 21 digs against Dunwoody and 12 against Greenbrier.