The LFO Lady Warriors assured themselves of a spot in the Class 3A state volleyball tournament for the sixth consecutive year after a narrow 25-23, 25-23 home victory over Coahulla Creek in the first round of the Area 6-AAA tournament on Thursday.
Macey Gregg had 17 kills, 12 digs and two aces for the Red-and-White. Alesya McBurnett had 14 assists and two aces. Miyah Foster had 10 kills, while Morgan Noblitt had three aces, three digs and dished out 10 assists.
Fourth-seeded LFO will face top-seeded Ringgold at 2 p.m. on Saturday, while second-seeded Murray County will battle third-seeded North Murray at that same time. The winners will play for the championship at 3 p.m., while the losers will play for third and fourth. All games will be played at Ringgold High School.
All four teams are assured of making the state tournament.
The Area 6-AAAA tournament also got underway with first-round games on Thursday and the higher-seeded teams would sweep the opening round.
In Boynton, second-seeded Heritage defeated seventh-seeded Gilmer, 25-9 and 25-23. Kali Brown had 10 kills and two aces. Morgan Trotter had six kills and Anna Wilks collected 10 digs.
In LaFayette, the third-seeded Lady Ramblers dispatched sixth-seeded Pickens, 25-11 and 25-12. Colby Charland recorded 26 assists to go with four digs, two kills and two blocks. Jillian Morgan had 14 kills, two aces and a block. Gracie Stier had six kills, three digs and an ace. Micaela Hobbs had three aces and six digs, while Sarah Ray finished with three kills.
Also helping out was Imani Cook (two kills), Darsey Shields (two kills), Bailey Tarvin (two aces), Elaina Kirkendoll (one kill) and Kailey Boulware (one kill).
Down in Dalton, fourth-seeded Southeast Whitfield handled fifth-seeded Ridgeland, 25- 19 and 25-20. Jayda Jenkins had eight kills and three digs in the loss for the Lady Panthers. Isabella Allen dished out 10 assists. Sarah Williams had three kills and three digs, while Landree Dunn added two kills.
Brylee Durham had two aces and two digs. Bailey Fowler had two aces and five digs, while Asia Silmon and Justice Devlin had one kill each.
The rest of the tournament will be contested at Southeast Whitfield High School on Saturday. Winners bracket semifinal matches will begin at 10:15 a.m. with top-seeded Northwest taking on Southeast and Heritage battling LaFayette. The winners will advance to state and face off at 12:45 p.m. for a spot in the championship match at 3:15.
The first elimination bracket game will be at 9 a.m. as Pickens takes on Gilmer. Ridgeland will face the loser of the Heritage-LaFayette match at 11:30 with the winner of that match also advancing to state.