MARIETTA — Pope defeated Kennesaw Mountain in four sets Wednesday to advance to the Region 6AAAAAA championship.
The Lady Greyhounds won the first two sets, 25-10, 25-19 and rallied to win the fourth 28-26 to earn their spot in the title match against Lassiter on Thursday.
At the start of the third set, the Lady Mustangs jumped out to an early 11-4 lead. They maintained control of the set and won it 25-15.
Pope coach Jeff White said Kennesaw Mountain’s first row gave his team a hard time.
“They had some really good players in the front row, and we just didn’t deal very well with them,” White said.
Kennesaw Mountain maintained the momentum and looked as if it was about to force a fifth set once it went up 24-20, but Pope scored eight of the last nine points to secure the victory.
Ayanna Rodgers had 12 kills and two aces to help Pope rally back.
White said he liked the fight his team showed to come back and win the fourth set, but he did not think the players performed as well as they could.
“I liked our heart at the end, but, performance-wise, this was one of our worst matches we had in a really long time,” White said. “I give Kennesaw Mountain credit for that.”
White said his team would have to play a lot cleaner to beat Lassiter.
“We definitely have to be better with our transition hitting because, when they gave us free balls, we didn’t put them away,” he said. “Our blocking was also not as good today.”
Despite the challenges, White said he was proud that his squad was able to overcome and advance.
“At this point in the year, it’s all about surviving and advancing, and tonight’s match was ugly, but they showed a lot of heart,” he said.