Lady Jackets defeat Jordan in dominant fashion, heading to semis
ROCKMART — There was no comeback needed for the Rockmart volleyball team. This time the Lady Jackets proved they were where they belonged.
Three days after winning the final two games of a five-game set over Harlem to open the state playoffs, Rockmart entered the Class AA quarterfinals Saturday afternoon with the No. 3 seed and swept Jordan in three games.
The Lady Jackets now advance to the state semifinals for the first time in program history.
“That means everything to us,” Rockmart coach Stephanie Wolfe said. “The girls were high-energy, their momentum was awesome and they played well. It’s everything we could have wanted for this season.”
The Lady Jackets (22-11-3) stayed close with Jordan early on and went on to dominate before the match was over as Rockmart won 25-18, 25-10, 25-10.
Bethanie Forsyth had seven aces and provided a sense of stability for Rockmart each time she stepped in to serve. The senior served in an 8-0 run that ended the second set, and then kicked off the third that began with a 13-0 Lady Jacket lead.
“That was huge for us,” Wolfe said. “Being a senior, she’s got to lay everything on the floor, and she did that. She stepped up big time. Serving, setting, hitting — she did it all today.”
Courtney Wooten proved dominate at the net, recording three aces to go with at least eight kills, including on match point to clinch the victory.
Makenzie Kent provided plenty of support, and Khadeeja Brown was solid as well.
Jordan (20-8) made their best effort in the opening game as they battled back from being down 10-6 to go on a 7-1 run and take a 13-11 lead.
But Forsyth rotated to server on Rockmart’s next turn and Wooten made her first big contribution to the match to pull the Lady Jackets back out in front, 19-15.
A 6-0 run with Alexis Clanton serving closed out the game and Rockmart only improved from there.
“It’s been a learning process for us this season, but they finally have clicked,” Wolfe said. “Their resiliency is amazing. We have preached and preached and preached all year that if a team scores one or two points on you, you’re fine. Just stay on track. That’s what they’ve done, and I’m very proud of them.”
They’ll have a familiar foe facing them on the other side of the net in the Final Four on Wednesday as Coosa defeated Rabun County on Saturday to move on in the Class AA state playoffs as well.
The Lady Eagles won the Area 3-AA championship this season and are the No. 2 seed in the playoffs, while Rockmart finished third at the area tournament earlier this month.
Rockmart’s Courtney Wooten sets up to return the ball during the Lady Jackets’ Class AA quarterfinal match against Jordan.