Two days after becoming the first Area 7-5A team to defeat top seeded Kell, Rome topped the Lady Longhorns again on the second day of the area tournament on the way to finishing the area runner-up.
Meanwhile, Unity Christian’s girls swept Shiloh Hills in the GICAA Division I-A Region 1 tournament to win its second region title in a row.
The Lady Wolves (30-14) started the 7-5A tournament as the no. 4 seed on Thursday and beat East Paulding and Kell to move into a semifinal match against Carrollton on Saturday where the Lady Trojans took the win, 25-19, 25-16.
Rome moved into the losers’ bracket and matched up with Kell again. The Lady Wolves scratched out a win in the first set before Kell evened it up at a set apiece. Rome then dominated the Lady Longhorns 25-9 in the decisive third set to get the win and set up a rematch with Carrollton.
The Lady Trojans took the first two sets, but Rome fought back in the third of the best-of-five final and led for the most part. Up 23-19, Rome got caught in a string of unforced errors and Carrollton made a run to win 25-23.
“They played more aggressive against Kell than they did against against Carrollton,” Rome coach Alecia Parker said. “I think it’s just a mental block with the name ‘Carrollton’ that they just can’t get over that hump. But other than that, this was a good tournament.”
Parker said it was an all-around effort that got the team past Kell, but Abby Payne did have 11 aces to help steer things Rome’s way.
“I’m happy. I’m happy with the overall season. I’m happy with the attitudes on the court,” Parker said. “I want the ruthlessness and the aggressiveness against Kell on every single point, no matter who is across the net for us.”
Rome will take its program-best seed into the state playoffs on the road next Saturday, Oct. 20, to play in the first round of the Class 5A bracket. The place and opponent are yet to be determined.
Unity Christian will be back in action Thursday at home to host the No. 2 seed from Region 4. The Lady Lions (13-9) needed just one win to take the region title Saturday and outmatched Shiloh Hills 25-19, 25-16, 27-25.
The visiting squad was down 24-19 in the third set when some key serving got them within one of Unity Christian, 24-23. The two teams traded points before Kristina Groux stepped up to seal the win.