High School Volleyball

Teams to resume quest to reach Elite 8

by Doug Gorman

BY DOUG GORMAN dgorman@newnan.com When the Georgia High School Association State volleyball tournament resumes on Tuesday, East Coweta, Newnan and Northgate will share the same goal-advancing to the Elite 8 in their particular classification.

All three are just one victory away from reaching that milestone.

The No. 8 state-ranked Lady Indians get to stay at home, while both Newnan and Northgate hit the road for their second- round matches.

East Coweta (43-6) swept Mill Creek 3-0 in last week's first-round matches to set up its date with South Forsyth (46-12) in the Class AAAAAA Sweet 16.

South Forsyth has been ranked as high as second this year and makes the trek to Sharpsburg after sweeping Brunswick in its state opener.

'We know from here on out, it is going to get tougher,' said first-year East Coweta Amber McClure said.

The Lady Indians have won 12 straight matches heading into Tuesday, dropping just one set during the streak.

McClure knows good things are happening to the East Coweta volleyball team.

'They have bought into what we have been trying to do,' McClure said after her team captured the Area 2-AAAAAA title.

Newnan (25-12) faces tough task when it travels to take on No. 4 state-ranked Chattahoochee (44-9). It's a chance for the Lady Cougars to avenge last year's loss to the program in the Sweet 16.

The Lady Cougars are coming off a 3-1 win in last week's state opener over Peachtree Ridge.

With the match tied at 1-set apiece, Newnan trailed 23-18 in game three before scoring the final seven points. The Lady Cougars then easily put Peachtree Ridge away in the fourth set to advance.

Newnan head coach Leslie Fant admitted coming back like it did in third set against Peachtree Ridge shows just how much the team has grown.

'We have had trouble coming back against teams this year,' she said. 'When we would get down, we stayed down.'

In Class AAAAA, Northgate faces a familiar foe when it travels to Houston County.

The Lady Vikings needed five sets to get past Lithia Springs in last week's first-round match. Now, they face a Houston County team they swept twice during the regular season during home-and-home series.

'We have beaten them twice,' Northgate head coach Matt Trucks said. 'I like our chances, but you never know. We have to play hard.'

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