Thursday, October 23, 2014

McIntosh steamrolls Northgate for trip to state volleyball title game


By Kathryn Menchinger

Mollie Michel goes up high for the kill. (Staff Photo by Christopher Dunn)

McIntosh volleyball is poised to capture their second volleyball state championship after easily getting past Northgate Wednesday evening at home. The gymnasium, filled with fans from both schools, rocked for a short while as the Lady Chiefs (41-6) took down the Lady Vikings in straight sets. Familiar rivals from Area 4-AAAAA, the Lady Vikings were no match for the state runner-up team from 2012.
Coach Wendy Weaver, one of the finest volleyball coaches in Georgia, said after the match, “I knew we needed to play well and take nothing for granted. We went out there with the right attitude and focus and produced the result we wanted.”
The Lady Chiefs now have their sights set on the state championship game Friday night at Marietta High School, facing off against Sequoyah High’s Chiefs (40-4). Weaver continues to see improvement in her players and added, “I feel that we still haven’t reached the top of our potential yet, so we are peaking at just the right time.”
A trio of seniors led the Chiefs in kills, Rhana Mitchell leading the way with 16, followed closely by Abbi Schelkopf with 12 and Mollie Michel with 10. Schelkopf remarked after the match that she intends to help her team realize a different outcome this year in the championship game. She said, “I plan on really focusing on my serve/receive and contributing only positive energy on the court and if I am successful, my hitting will reflect that. We should see a different outcome than last year, too”
During the match, Northgate only led briefly in the third set, overpowered entirely by McIntosh’s near-flawless game. Game one saw the Chiefs seize an early lead and go on to crush the Vikings 25-14. Game two was instant replay of game one minus one, Chiefs on top 25-13. Game three opened with Northgate leading by three early on, only to then fall to McIntosh 25-14. The Lady Vikings were no match for McIntosh, but there is always next year.
Leading in blocking for the Chiefs was junior Abby Duke, who helped shut down Northgate’s imposing front line with three solo blocks and a pair of block-assists. She commented after the game that she plans on “being aggressive and playing my best on Friday” to do her part in helping the Chiefs bring home another state title to add to their already impressive trophy case. It is sure bet that Chiefs will win the AAAAA state title in volleyball this year. Hopefully the Chiefs from McIntosh rule the court and realize that goal.
Meanwhile, Sandy Creek came up short in the quest for a threepeat. The Lady Patriots lost 3-2 to Columbus in the semifinals.


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