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Thursday May 26th, 2022 11:16AM

Volleyball finals: Branch falls to Marist in 4A title match

By AccessWDUN Staff

CARTERSVILLE — Flowery Branch’s bid at a first-ever state title in volleyball was snuffed out by defending state champion Marist on Saturday.

The Lady Falcons pushed the powerhouse Lady War Eagles before falling 3-1 (25-18, 23-25, 25-15, 25-22) in the best-of-five Class 4A finals at the LakePoint Sports Complex Champions Center.

Flowery Branch led in every set and the second-set loss for Marist was its first in the 2021 playoffs after sweeping their first four playoff opponents.

The Lady War Eagles opened with a 2-0 lead in the first set but the Lady falcons fought back to take a 10-9 lead. The set was tied at 12 before a powerful Marist offense got going. The Lady War Eagles used a 10-4 run to pull away.

In the second set, Flowery Branch opened with a 4-0 spurt behind three big kills. Marist rallied to tie the set at 10 and it would be tied five more times at 15, 16, 19, 20, and at 22. From there Branch used a 3-1 run to close it out and tie the match at 1-set apiece.

The third set was back-and-forth early with the teams exchanging points to a 5-5 tie. After Branch used a 4-1 run to take a 9-6 lead, Marist used a 9-0 run to take a 15-9 lead. The Lady Falcons climbed back to within 16-16 but Marist used a 9-1 burst to close out the set at 25-15.

Branch took a 1-0 lead in the fourth set and the set was eventually tied at 11. But again the Lady War Eagles jumped out to a big 19-14 with a 6-1 run. Branch got within 21-20 with a 5-0 run but Marist closed out the set and the match with a 4-2 run.

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