KATHLEEN -- Nicole Miranda knew her team faced a tough draw Tuesday night.
The Veterans volleyball head coach saw her team likely would face Sandy Creek in the second round of the GHSA Class AAAA playoffs when the brackets were released. So despite going 38-2 in the regular season, the Warhawks reward in the second round was the two-time defending state champion Patriots.
The draw was a little unfavorable, and youd like to go a little deeper before you see a team like that, Miranda said. But you have to play them sooner or later. Obviously, they have a very good team.
Led by middle blocker and Georgia Tech commit Sydney Wilson, Sandy Creek beat Veterans 3-1 (25-18, 25-20, 20-25, 25-9) to advance to the state quarterfinals.
I think Sandy Creek and Columbus are probably the top two teams, Miranda said of the two teams that battled for the Area 3-AAAA title. I think were right up there when were clicking on all cylinders. Wed have to really have our A game. Wed have to play our very, very best.
The Warhawks had their best chance in the second set, leading by eight early. But the Patriots outscored them 22-9 the rest of the way. The Warhawks also led by five (15-10) midway through the first set, but they gave up a 15-3 run the rest of the way.
You have to take advantage of those chances, Miranda said. I think the second game was the turning point. We needed a split, and we took the lead and let it slip away.
The Warhawks didnt fold after losing the first two sets.
They once again took a commanding lead early at the start of the third set. The Patriots chewed at the lead throughout the set, forcing set point four different times before a big block gave the Warhawks a 25-20 win.
Veterans couldnt maintain any of that momentum in the fourth set.
Sandy Creek opened the set on a 10-3 run and rolled to a pretty convincing victory.
We just couldnt pass for some reason, and thats one of our strengths, Miranda said. They had so many weapons.