Oakwood Christian Eagles

The Oakwood Christian Academy Lady Eagles are three victories away from their first-ever state volleyball championship.

As expected, the top-seeded Lady Eagles captured the GAPPS Division I-A Region 1 championship Thursday night at Unity Christian School in Rome. 

OCA opened with a 25-12, 25-11, 25-17 win over fifth-seeded Stonehaven before defeating second-seeded Praise Academy, 25-10, 24-26, 25-23, 25-14 in the region final.

Mana Gilchrist had 38 kills, 14 digs, five aces, five assists and three blocks on the night. Avery Green finished with 57 assists, 34 digs, 15 aces, four kills and one block. Anslee Tucker collected 23 digs and eight aces, and McKenley Baggett recorded 18 digs, 16 kills and six aces.

Aby Whitlock picked up 12 digs, five kills and four aces. Caroline Tindell had 11 digs, six kills, three assists and a pair of blocks, while JV call-up Trinity Hall served up one ace.

Oakwood (25-12) will host a first-round state match this coming Tuesday. That opponent was unknown as of press time. A victory would send the Navy-and-Gold to the Division I-A State Final Four on Saturday, Oct. 16.

The state semifinals and state championship match will be played on the same day at Rock Springs Christian Academy in Lamar County, approximately halfway between Atlanta and Macon.

Oakwood played in the state finals last year before losing in four sets to The Habersham School out of Savannah.

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

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