High School Volleyball

Lady Vikings reach GHSA Final 4

by Doug Gorman

alt

After advancing to the GHSA Class AAAAA Elite 8, Northgate’s volleyball program became one of the four remaining teams in the state tournment on Saturday with a 3-1 victory over area rival Whitewater. 


FAYETTEVILLE—The Northgate Lady Vikings volleyball team advanced to the Class AAAAA Final Four Saturday with a 3-1 victory over Whitewater (21-25, 25-21, 25-12 25-19).

It’s just the second time in school history the Lady Vikings have made it this far.

There were no secrets between Northgate and Whitewater, who both play in Region 4-AAAAA.

Northgate won the two regular season meetings between the teams, with Whitewater beating the Lady Vikings twice at the region tournament.

Northgate (30-25) now moves on to face another familiar region foe Wednesday, when it travels to McIntosh (39-6). The Lady Chiefs swept Greenville to punch their ticket to the Final Four.

The starting time for the match will be announced early this week.

“When I saw the draw, I knew we had to go through Whitewater and McIntosh, so you know this time of year to be the best you have to beat the best,” Northgate head coach Matt Trucks said. “McIntosh is the best. They are the cream of the crop. We knew we are going to have to face them if we got far enough, so now let’s play.”

After advancing to the Final Four, the careers of seniors Randee Harvel, Erin Valentine and Michella Crooks have been extended.

“It feels great to be going to the Final Four,” Valentine said. “We were confident we could take it, and we went out and proved it. We knew it meant so much. We came out and played really hard.”

Crooks thinks playing against the tough competition the Lady Vikings see in Region 4-AAAAA has only made them better.

“We always face tough teams, but as long as we fight hard, we feel like we have a chance,” Crooks said.

The Lady Vikings were in Saturday’s Final Four for the fourth time in five years after beating Lithia Springs and Houston County. Whitewater knocked off Clarke Central and Creekview to set up the fifth meeting this year between the two region rivals.

Northgate had to rally against Whitewater after dropping the first set. The Lady Wildcats overcame a four-point deficit to win the first match, but from there, the Lady Vikings won three straight sets.

After six ties early in the second set, Northgate took the lead at 9-8 and never trailed again.

From there, Northgate pretty much dominated the final two sets pushing out to a 16-6 lead in the three set. The Lady Wildcats cut the margin to nine twice late in the match, but couldn’t get any closer.

The Lady Vikings built the early lead in the final set to close out the match with the six-point victory.

Northgate was paced by Randee Harvel who led the team with 25 kills and 10 digs.

Brenda Robertson finished the match with blocks. Kalie Whiddon finished the four-set match with 17 assists.

Harvel realized the team had a chance to advance after winning the second set.

“I just really thought we would take it,” she said. “Getting to the Final Four has been our goal all year.”

Trucks new after splitting the four matches with Whitewater earlier this year his team was going to face a challenge.

“They are a good team,” Trucks said. “We prepared for five matches. We respect them that much. “

Trucks said his team fed off the spirited group of Northgate fans who made the short trip across the county line.

“The fans that did come yelled and cheered,” he said. “I know it gets expensive at tournament time, but we appreciate the support.”








More Sports

High School Basketball

Cougars snap five-game losing streak

Newnan’s boys basketball team snapped a five-game losing streak in Region 3-AAAAAA on Friday, pulling out a 54-48 victory on the road ... Read More


High School Basketball

Heritage School sweeps Holy Spirit

The Heritage School basketball teams proved Thursday they can win games even when they don’t play their best. Heritage swept a doubleh ... Read More


High School Basketball

Trinity boys rout Young Americans

Trinity Christian’s boys basketball team got a chance to rinse out the taste of a disappointing loss to Bethlehem Christian this week ... Read More


Newnan able to pull out first county swim title

Newnan High swim coach Courtney Stillwell had plenty of strategy Wednesday at the annual Coweta County Tri-Meet at the Summit YMCA. The vete ... Read More


High School Basketball

Lady Cougars unable to claw back against Pebblebrook

Newnan basketball teams entered Tuesday's Region 3-AAAAAA contests with Pebblebrook hoping its home-court advantage might just work in its f ... Read More

High School Swimming

County meet chance for bragging rights, state times

All three local high school swim teams have the same agenda tonight when they return to the Summit Family YMCA for the annual Coweta County ... Read More