The Titans – the second-seeded team in AAA – will host Woodward Academy in their semifinal match today at 6:30 p.m.
A win would advance Blessed Trinity to the AAA finals Saturday at 4 p.m. against the winner of the other semifinal match between St. Pius X or Buford. It’s the third consecutive final four appearance for the Titans, who beat St. Pius X to win the AAA championship last year and are aiming for their third state crown in four years.
“It’s something we never take for granted,” Blessed Trinity coach Paul Stevens said. “We work hard each week and try to get better each week and we’re thrilled to be back there and we’re going to work hard to do our best and hopefully make it back to the finals on Saturday.”
The Titans (56-8) continued their march to the AAA championship with a three-set sweep of Savannah Arts Academy (25-10, 25-13, 25-15) in a second-round match last Tuesday.
“We had a few too many unforced errors at times,” Stevens said. “But when we needed to, we were able to rally our troops down the stretch. We had a couple of sterling runs from Andreas Soares and that helped inject some life into the team and make the trip home a lot nicer.”
Sabrina Hansen had 10 kills, while Soares had five aces and was a perfect 20-for-20 in her serves as well as getting 12 assists, Amber MacDonald had nine digs and Morgan Stalcup had 3 ½ blocks to lead the Titans. The surviving eight teams in each classification were reseeded going into the elite eight, with Blessed Trinity earning the second seed in AAA behind top-seeded St. Pius X and securing a bye in the quarterfinals. Now, Blessed Trinity will face a Woodward team that it beat 2-1 (25-13, 19-25, 25-20) in a regular-season match Oct. 1.
“Woodward is a dangerous team,” Stevens said. “They’re very scrappy defensively. They’re not going let a ball go down uncontested. They’re going to fight for every ball that you’re going to send on their side of the court. You have to be very patient when you play a team like that and not feel like one swing is going to do it – you have to have multiple swings. They have an excellent setter in Sydney Morgan, who hits the ball very well and is deceptive about where she puts it. They have some hitters who can do some damage, too.”
Meanwhile, Roswell (38-14) fell just short of joining Blessed Trinity in the final four after losing to north Fulton rival Chattahoochee 3-1 (22-25, 25-15, 25-19, 25-13) in a AAAAAA quarterfinal match last Saturday.
The Hornets advanced to the elite eight with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-22, 25-23) win over Brookwood in the second round last Tuesday.
With the win, Chattahoochee (47-9) will host another all-north Fulton battle with Johns Creek (44-9) in the AAAAAAA semifinals today at 6:30 p.m. Johns Creek defeated North Cobb 3-1 (23-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-20) in the quarterfinals Saturday after beating North Gwinnett 3-1 (25-8, 26-24, 11-25, 25-13) in the second round last Tuesday.
Centennial (38-13) saw its season come to an end after losing to Lassiter 3-2 (25-18, 22-25, 25-19, 24-26, 15-12) in the second round of the AAAAAA playoffs last Tuesday.