MARIETTA — Pope defeated North Atlanta in three sets Wednesday to earn a trip back to the Class AAAAAA semifinals.
The Lady Greyhounds, who won 25-16, 25-20, 25-16, will travel to Sequoyah on Saturday, with a trip to the state championship match on the line.
Pope coach Jeff White said his team’s performance could have been better, but he gave credit to North Atlanta for keeping the Lady Greyhounds off balance.
“The match was very gritty because we were not playing well,” White said. “I give North Atlanta credit. They did a great job and they were a lot scrappier than I thought they would be.”
Pope started the first set strong after building a 15-7 lead and maintained the advantage the rest of the way.
North Atlanta jumped out to a 5-3 lead, putting pressure on the Lady Greyhounds, but Pope rallied back to take the set.
Pope jumped to a 6-0 lead in the third set and cruised to the closeout victory.
Sophie-Katherine Harvey had 12 kills and two digs, while Ayanna Rodgers finished with 11 kills and an ace.
Saturday’s match against Sequoyah will be a rematch of last year’s semifinal, a match the Lady Chiefs won.
To beat Sequoyah this time around, White said the Lady Greyhounds will have to play at the top of their game.
“We need to be better with our blocking and defense because, today, it was OK, but it wasn’t what it needs to be to beat Sequoyah,” White said. “We definitely have to work on our defensive stuff.”
White said the focus cannot be on last year’s match.
“We are going to try to get rid of some ghosts and move on,” he said. “Sequoyah is a great team, and it’s going to be a great battle.”