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Walton Outlasts Harrison for Title

The Lady Raiders claim their second consecutive AAAAA state volleyball championship.

The successfully defended their AAAAA volleyball title Saturday, defeating cross-Cobb challenger in a thrilling five-set match, 25-19, 20-25, 25-19, 21-25, 15-9.

Walton hadn’t lost a set during a 10-match winning streak leading to the Georgia High School Association championship finale at , and the Raiders hadn’t lost a set to a Georgia team since a 3-2 victory Sept. 1 over , which 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.

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