GAINESVILLE — Cherokee Bluff held off North Hall in a thrilling three-set match in the finals to capture the Area 7-3A volleyball championship on Thursday at the North Hall gym.
The Lady Bears had to win three matches on the day. They started with a 25-13 and 25-21 victory over White County and then held off Lumpkin County 25-12, 20-25, 15-12 in the semifinals to advance. They then outlasted the Lady Trojans 25-14, 15-25, 15-13 in three-sets as well.
For Cherokee Bluff, GB Cornett had 21 assists, 8 kills, 7 digs, 4 blocks and 4 aces while Maddy Levine had 35 assists, 12 digs, and 2 aces to lead the way. Abbi Hutchins had 24 digs and 3 aces, Emma Staples had 18 kills, 9 digs, 5 aces and 2 blocks, and Save Sutulovich added 12 kills, 3 blocks, 1 ace and 1 dig for the Lady Bears.
Sierra Piland had 6 blocks, 4 aces, 2 digs, 2 assists and 1 kill, Brandyn Peterson added 8 blocks and 1 kill, and Olivia Owens had 4 blocks, 1 kill, and 1 dig for Cherokee Bluff.
Meanwhile, North Hall came into the final day needing to win just two matches to win the title.
The Lady Trojans rallied to beat Lumpkin County in three sets 13-25, 25-20, 15-12 before taking on Cherokee Bluff in the finals.
Lexie Martin paced North Hall with 30 assists, 3 aces, 3 kills, and 8 digs. Claire Bowen had 14 kills and 5 blocks, Gavyn Graber had 7 kills and 4 aces, and AnnaKate Shoaf added 12 digs for the Lady Trojans.
Sarah Davidson had 7 kills and 3 blocks, Amelia Shoemaker had 8 kills and 1 block, Hannah Goss had 3 kills, and Karsyn Savage had 2 aces and 5 digs. Carly Bowen had 7 digs and Brooklyn Sargent had 4 digs for North Hall.
The Class 3A playoffs, however, do not begin until Oct. 19 and both Bluff and North Hall will play host to first round matches against teams from Area 5-3A.