High School Volleyball
Newnan gets past Peachtree Ridge in four sets
by Doug Gorman
The Newnan Lady Cougars volleyball team needed a little drama to get past the Peachtree Ridge Lady Lions in the first round of the Class AAAAAA tournament (25-22, 22-25, 25-23, 25-13) to advance to the Sweet 16.
It came in the third-set of the match. With Newnan down 23-17, the Lady Cougars scored the final eight points to seal the victory and take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five match.
The amazing comeback sparked Newnan to its best set of the night in the following game as it put an exclamation point on the match with the 11 point victory.
'That third-set comeback was huge,' Newnan head coach Leslie Fant said. 'That is what we have struggled with all year. A lot of times this year when we get down by a pretty good deficit, we are pretty much done, so tonight it was good to be able to fight back.'
Junior Allison Cash said it was just a matter of digging down deep to pull out this match.
'I think we wanted it more than we have all year,' Cash said. 'We came back strong, and we just talked to each other. We just pulled together as a team.'
Never letting up has been something Fant as preached to her team all year.
'I have always told them that even when we are down by four or five points we are still in the game,' said the Newnan coach. 'It was awesome to see them finally fight back.'
With the Thursday's win, the squad hits the road for a secondround match at Chattahoochee. Chattahoochee advanced by getting a win over Woodstock.
'The biggest thing for us is to just keep this momentum going,' Fant said.
Fant said the Newnan's ability to block shots in the final two sets made a huge difference. 'That is one of the things we talked about at halftime. That was the ability to set the block properly,' Fant said.
Cash ended the night with 16 kills. Jenni Young also had 16 kills. Julie Masonhemier also had four solo blocks.
Meg Oldham and Maggie Darracott chased down several balls to keep points alive in the win.
For Masonheimer, one of Newnan's seniors, moving on is a chance to show the rest of the state just how far the Lady Cougars have come.
'After we lost that close second set, I was afraid we were going downhill,' she said. 'It was great to see us come back like we did.'
Newnan is in the Sweet 16 for the second straight year.
'We know we are going to have to be ready,' Fant said.'It's too bad we are going to have to travel.'