After Etowah (30-15) soundly defeated seventh-seeded Marietta 25-16,
25-13, it avenged two regular-season losses by beating third-seeded Milton 25-20, 25-13.
Etowah coach Kim Robertson was proud of her team’s performance.
“I feel really good about how we played (Thursday),” she said. “I’m very pleased to have gone 2-0, especially since we swept both matches and won four (sets) straight. The girls were really clicking and played well.”
Robertson credited the play of her outside hitters — seniors Jenna Lea and Carlie Gilbert — for much of the Lady Eagles’ success on the night.
Lea led the Lady Eagles with 24 kills on the night, while Gilbert was close behind with 16.
“Jenna and Carlie’s play was outstanding (Thursday),” Robertson said. “They were very good all night.”
The Lady Eagles had little trouble dispatching Marietta in their opening match, thanks in large part to the offensive firepower of Lea and Gilbert, as well as the setting ability of Chelsea Brady, who had 21 assists.
The Lady Eagles next came up against a Milton team that had beaten Etowah in a pair of three-set matches during the regular season.
In the two earlier matches, Etowah won the first set, only to be overtaken by Milton in the second and third.
That wasn’t the case Thursday.
After winning a close first set 25-20, Etowah easily dispatched Milton 25-13 in the second.
“Both times before, when we played Milton, we were strong in the first set, but let them back in in the second set and eventually lost both matches,” Robertson said. “(On Thursday), that wasn’t the case. The momentum was with our girls, and they stepped up.”
Gilbert felt Thursday’s success was a result of Etowah’s cohesiveness.
“We just meshed so well (Thursday),” she said. “I am so proud of our team. We only have five seniors on our team, but the underclassmen really stepped it up.”
The Lady Eagles will next play top-seeded Walton when the tournament resumes Saturday at Milton.
Despite the daunting matchup, Robertson is ready to face the Raiders.
“They are going to be a tough matchup, for sure,” she said. “But we’re just going to go out there, work hard and give it 100 percent.”