Walton Outlasts Harrison for Title
The Lady Raiders claim their second consecutive AAAAA state volleyball championship.
Walton hadn’t lost a set during a 10-match winning streak leading to the Georgia High School Association championship finale at Marietta High School, and the Raiders hadn’t lost a set to a Georgia team since a 3-2 victory Sept. 1 over Pope, which won the AAAA state title on the same court earlier Saturday.
But although Walton brought the No. 1 seed and the 2010 AAAAA title into Saturday’s match, Harrison held the top ranking in the Prep Country/GACA coaches poll, and the Lady Hoyas came close to proving that poll correct.
Harrison led 15-10 in the first set before the Lady Raiders scored eight points in a row, and Walton never led in the second set.
The Raiders took the lead for good in the third set at 8-7 and seemed to have the match under control when they won the set by six points.
But in a back-and-forth fourth set, Harrison called a timeout with a 17-16 lead and won the next four points on the way to forcing the decisive fifth set.
Walton led only 8-7 and 10-8 in the final set before rolling to the title, thanks in part to a serve that hit the top of the net and trickled over for an ace.
Coach Suzanne Fitzgerald told the Marietta Daily Journal that the Raiders’ experience, including losing a five-set championship match to Pope two years ago, provided the winning edge.
The Lady Raiders finished the season with a 28-9 record.