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VOLLEYBALL: Coosa sweeps its way into state semifinals with dominant win over Jordan

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Putting aside any presumed stress that goes along with an Elite Eight contest in the state playoffs, Coosa’s volleyball team joked with each other and laughed between points during Saturday’s match.

But when it came time to show their dominance over their opponents and stamp their ticket to the Final Four, the Lady Eagles were strictly business.

Coosa picked up where it left off in the Sweet 16 and rolled to a three-set sweep of Jordan on its home court Saturday in the Class AA quarterfinals, never letting the visiting Lady Red Jackets get beyond single digits in a set.

“I like our body language and our energy. We came out very relaxed and loose, and when we come out like that we typically play pretty well,” Coosa coach Nic Hann said.

“So when I saw those first couple of points I felt pretty good about it. We played very disciplined volleyball.”

The Lady Eagles (47-7) defeated Jordan 25-6, 25-6, 25-9, displaying a prowess for passing that Hann said has been a focal point this week at practice.

“We’ve worked on passing non-stop this week because we know that has been our weakness at times,” Hann said.

“We worked on being very technical with our passing this week and really breaking it down. What we love to see is they came out and applied it after three days of practice, so that was really encouraging.”

Senior Taylor Roberts played her usual role at the net and led the team in kills (15) and digs (11). She also recorded four aces and four blocks. Kasey Thacker made a mark by finishing with 12 kills to go along with nine aces and nine digs, while Jordan Roberts finished with six kills, 10 digs and an ace.

Brinley Smith reached another milestone in the match as she recorded her 1,000th assist of the season. The sophomore surpassed 1,000 assists in her short career earlier this season.

Roberts said the memory of losing in the state championship game last season has been a rally cry for the team this season.

“I think last year we definitely felt defeated, and this year we’re coming back with a different purpose. We really just want to get the job done and we don’t want to feel the way we did last year,” Taylor Roberts said. “I think pushing ourselves a lot harder during practice and working harder during games just makes us want it that much more.”

Jordan (17-7) failed to score back-to-back points in the match until the third set, and fell victim to the consistent ball control exhibited by Coosa. The Lady Eagles ended the first set on a 13-0 run and held a 15-3 lead in the second set.

Coosa will stay at home for the semifinals on Wednesday as it hosts fellow Area 3-AA and Floyd County foe Armuchee after the Lady Indians were victorious in their quarterfinal match against Westside-Augusta on Saturday. The winner earns a spot in the Class AA state championship game Saturday at Holy Innocents’ in Atlanta.