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Holy Innocents’, St. Pius win titles
by Greg Oshust
November 07, 2013 09:44 AM | 2269 views | 0 0 comments | 35 35 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Samantha M. Shal<br>
Mary Hollis Schmidt (white jersey) and Sarah Joe (2) played key roles for Holy Innocents' in its march to the Class A state volleyball championship.
Staff / Samantha M. Shal
Mary Hollis Schmidt (white jersey) and Sarah Joe (2) played key roles for Holy Innocents' in its march to the Class A state volleyball championship.
Holy Innocents’ and St. Pius X won their first state volleyball championships, with the Golden Bears claiming the Class A title and the Lady Lions the AAA crown in state finals action at Marietta High School last Saturday.

Holy Innocents’ (32-14) defeated Hebron Christian 3-1 (25-18, 25-19, 24-26, 25-20) in the Class A finals to clinch the school’s first state crown in volleyball.

“I’m very proud of these girls,” Holy Innocents’ coach Taylor Noland said. “This is the original group that I cane in with and they worked every match to earn what they accomplished [last Saturday].

Haley Collins had 22 kills and eight aces, while Sarah Porter had 62 assists and Sarah Joe had 14 kills to lead the Golden Bears.

After Holy Innocents’ won the first two sets, Hebron scored the last four points of the third set to come back from a 24-22 deficit and win 26-24 to close the gap to 2-1 before the Golden Bears won the fourth set to close out the match and earn the Class A title.

“Hebron Christian is an incredible team,” Noland said. “We knew we would be challenged and we’re so proud of the opportunity to play them in the finals. We couldn’t have asked for a better opponent.”

Holy Innocents’ advanced to the finals with a 3-2 (25-17, 17-25, 27-25, 18-25, 18-16) win over Eagle’s Landing Christian in the semifinals last Wednesday.

St. Pius X (48-7) claimed its first state crown with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 25-18) victory over Area 5AAA rival Blessed Trinity.

Leah Hardeman had 35 kills on 64 swings, while Ryan Boykin had 35 digs, Peyton Osborne had 19 digs, Katrina Connolly had 37 assists and Molly Gunn had 32 assists for the Lady Lions, who beat Buford 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-18, 28-26) in the semifinals last Wednesday.

Westminster (26-12) fell short of a state title for the second year in a row as the Wildcats lost to Wesleyan 3-1 (25-21, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22) in the AA finals.

Westminster, which lost to Buckhead archrival Lovett in the title match last year, led 17-11 in the second set before Wesleyan responded with a 14-4 run to win the set and take a 2-0 lead.

The Wildcats were up 18-11 in the third set before another 14-4 Wesleyan run turned things around and gave the Wolves the match and the AA crown.

Westminster earned its spot in the AA title match with a 3-0 (25-13, 25-9, 25-15) win over Jefferson in the semifinals last Wednesday.

Marist (32-13) also came up short in its bid for the AAAA title after losing to Columbus 3-1 (25-15, 25-18, 19-25, 25-14) in the championship match.

The War Eagles advanced to the AAAA finals with a 3-0 (25-11, 25-20, 20-7) win over River Ridge in the semifinals last Wednesday.

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