Heritage Generals

The Heritage Lady Generals went into the Class 4A state volleyball playoffs on the road this past weekend as a No. 3 seed.

This week, they will play their second-round match at home.

The Navy-and-White defied the odds twice on Saturday. They started by taking down second-seeded Oconee County and then watched as fourth-seeded Luella shocked top-seeded and host Upson-Lee in the opening round of the GHSA playoffs.

As a result of being the highest remaining seed in their quadrant, Heritage will play host to Luella in a Sweet 16 match this Wednesday. The winner will face either Columbus or Blessed Trinity in the state quarterfinals.

"Only a few of the current (team) members were pulled up from JV for our last home game, so I'm so excited that this group will have a chance to play a state match at home," Heritage head coach Kari Cooper said. "I hope they understand how special this is and play how we can play on Wednesday."

The Lady Generals dropped the opening set to the Lady Warriors, 25-16, but dominated the next two sets, winning 25-11 and 25-16 before holding off Oconee for a 25-23 victory to seal the win.

Morgan Trotter had 14 kills, nine digs and two aces for Heritage in the victory. Kallie Carter had a dozen kills to go with a half-dozen blocks. Kayla Varnon finished with eight kills, four digs, one ace and one block, while Lauren Francis had a big game with 23 assists, 13 digs, seven kills, six blocks and one ace.

"In the first set we didn't execute our game plan as we should have and we let them make a few small runs that we were not able to come back from," Cooper added. "We weren't making the necessary adjustments. Before the second set, we reminded each other of our expectations and the adjustments that needed to be made and they were able to go out and execute. We were not going to give up and decided to play our game."

Scott Herpst is sports editor for the Walker County Messenger in LaFayette, Ga., and Catoosa County News in Ringgold, Ga.

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