The set the Lady Chiefs won Tuesday night against North Cobb was one in which they started quickly. But when Sequoyah trailed early, the Lady Warriors carried the momentum to the finish.
Tori Forrest set a team record in kills with 1,014 career kills after compiling 24 against Sequoyah, helping North Cobb prevail 25-15, 25-20, 22-25, 25-12 in a non-area match at the War Lodge.
“(Sequoyah is) a good team,” North Cobb coach James Auld said of the Lady Chiefs, the No. 6 team in Class AAAA. “They are like a top-five in Class AAAA. They beat Johns Creek last week. We feel good about this win, especially on their home court.”
North Cobb setter Lauren Schmitz served well in the opening set, blowing it open with an eight-point service run that broke the set open. She also came out aggressive in the fourth set, triggering another early run that Sequoyah (10-3) couldn’t recover from.
Sequoyah’s early struggles in three of the four sets came from a combination of things.
The Lady Chiefs struggled to win the long rallies, they were erratic on serve-receive at times and they went through phases of hitting errors. They had seven offensive miscues in the second set and seven more in the fourth after playing a clean third.
“They came out a little more ready and focused than we were,” Sequoyah coach John Edwards said. “By the time we got back into it, it was a big hole to get out of. Getting down 2-0 is hard to come back. Putting three games together is really hard when they have the momentum and a good sense of what they were doing.”
Despite the loss, Sequoyah still put up on strong offensive numbers.
Katelyn Wienbarg had 15 kills to lead the way, Brittnee Jones added 11 kills and two solo blocks and Haleigh Tewksbury tacked on 10 kills. Setter Courtney O’Brien dished out 34 assists.
The Lady Chiefs never recovered in the first game after Schmitz’s long service run. They trailed by 10 when it was over, and the closest they got to North Cobb (9-1) was within six.
Schmitz’s run began with two straight Forrest kills. After Katie O’Rourke followed with a smash to open North Cobb’s lead to 7-2, Schmitz came through with a couple of aces to extend the lead.
After Sequoyah committed seven hitting errors in the second set, the Lady Chiefs rallied after trailing by seven. Back-to-back Wienbarg kills on Carley Roberts’ serve cut the lead to five. The Lady Chiefs then won five straight points on Page’s serve to cut the North Cobb lead to 21-20. Jones tacked on three kills during the run.
Even though Sequoyah lost the second set, its momentum carried over into the third, when the Lady Chiefs opened with a 4-0 lead. They managed to hold on to that lead throughout the set by improving their serve-receive.
Many of their points against North Cobb’s serve in the third set came on making kills on the first pass.
But some of the issues Sequoyah had in the first and second sets returned in the fourth. The Lady Chiefs made three late hitting errors, allowing North Cobb, the third-ranked team of Class AAAAA, to open up a 21-12 lead, and they also had breakdowns on serve-receive.
“It was good that we did fight back in Game 3 to win that one,” Edwards said, “but they were more consistent than we were, and they got more balls up than we did.”