Lady Trojans’ run ends in state semifinals
The Gordon Lee High School volleyball team waited nearly two decades for their first-ever state Final Four match.
Unfortunately, they’ll have to wait just a bit longer for their first-ever state championship match.
Armed with a very young squad that featured just one senior, the Lady Trojans’ run in the 2018 Class AA/A Public School state tournament came to an end at Coosa High School last Tuesday night as the veteran Lady Eagles showed off their championship pedigree with a 25-20, 25-15, 25-16 sweep.
Featuring five experienced seniors on its roster, Coosa - a 2015 Elite Eight participant, the 2016 Class AA state runner-up and the 2017 Class AA champion - was able to withstand Gordon Lee’s challenge while displaying some impressive skills and hustle in front of a large and loud crowd at the Coosa High gymnasium.
“We definitely ran into a better team,” Coach Adam Crowley stated. “They had a lot of good hitters and they were just better than us tonight. We played our hearts out and the better team won, but we know we had a bunch of young kids this year. We are definitely going to improve and try to get to the (state) finals next year.”
A 6-0 run in the first set gave Coosa a 12-7 lead. Gordon Lee would rally to pull back within two points of the lead at 13-11, but the Lady Eagles would score five of the next six points to push the lead back out to six.
Three straight points by the Lady Trojans would cut the deficit in half, but the visitors would never get any closer as a final push shot by Jordan Roberts found an opening to end the first set.
Gordon Lee got out to a 4-1 lead in the second set, only to see Coosa reel off nine of the next 11 points, including a very fortuitous bounce off the net, to take a 10-6 lead and force Gordon Lee to call a timeout.
The Lady Trojans would come out of the break and slice the gap down to 11-8, but Coosa would go on an 8-0 run that saw them win long rallies, seemingly get to every loose ball, convert on block attempts and catch every possible break, especially at the net. One final ace ended the set and gave the Lady Eagles a commanding 2-0 lead in the best-of-five match.
Gordon Lee came out focused in a do-or-die third set and opened up a 5-1 advantage, forcing Coosa to call a timeout. The Lady Trojans went on to extend the lead to 10-5 when the home team would start to get on track.