The 2022 Georgia High School Association volleyball playoffs continued on Wednesday around the state with Classes 6A, 4A, and 2A getting started with opening round matches.
Four more Northeast Georgia-area teams -- North Forsyth, Cherokee Bluff, North Hall, and Union County -- advanced to the second round with wins.
In Class 6A, North Forsyth was the only Area 8-6A team to advance, holding off Lassiter, 3-1, in Coal Mountain. The Lady Raiders opened with 25-18 and 30-28 wins in the first two sets, lost 25-21 in the third set, and closed out the match 25-20 to advance.
Area 8-6A champ Jackson County, however, was stunned 3-2 in five grueling sets by Johns Creek while Gainesville lost in straight sets to Pope, 25-10, 25-17, 25-11 on the road.
Playing at home, the Lady Panthers got off to a solid start winning the first set 25-23. But Johns Creek battled back to win the second and third sets, 25-21 and 25-23, before Jackson County roared back in the fourth, 25-21, to send it to a fifth and deciding set. Johns Creek, however, held on 15-13 to knock out the Lady Panthers.
In Class 4A, Area 8-4A champion Cherokee Bluff breezed through its first-round match against Southeast Whitfield at home, 25-17, 25-8, 25-7 to advance to the Sweet 16. The Lady Bears will play host to perennial power Westminster on Saturday.
North Hall, the third seed from Area 8-4A, also advanced, knocking off Central-Carroll on the road on Wednesday. The Lady Trojans jumped out to a 2-0 lead winning the opening sets 25-19 and 25-14 before Central-Carrol rallied for a 26-24 win in the third set. North Hall closed out the match in the fourth, 25-23, to move on.
North Hall will get to stay home on Saturday in the second round. The Lady Trojans will play host to Holy Innocents’ after the Area 5-4A No. 4 seed Lady Golden Bears took down Area 6-4A champ Walnut Grove, 3-0, in the first round.
But a young Chestatee group, seeded second out of 8-4A, could not get past a tough Heritage-Catoosa squad, losing 3-2 in a heartbreaker. The Lady War Eagles looked like they were going to roll to an easy win after taking the first two sets 26-24 and 25-21. But the Lady Generals roared back, winning the final three sets 25-20, 25-22 and 15-6 to knock out Chestatee.
Union County staged the biggest comeback on the night in Class 2A against Murray County. The Lady Panthers fell behind 2-0 after the Lady Indians opened with 25-22 and 25-17 wins in the first two sets. But Union County found its groove taking the final three sets 25-19, 25-22, and 15-12 to move on to the Elite 8.
Union County, the No. 3 seed from Area 8-2A, will travel to Area 6-2A champion Mount Paran Christian on Saturday.
In Class A, Rabun County’s run ended in the first round, falling 3-1 to Dade County (25-20, 24-26, 25-10, 25-9) on the road.