Chamblee, Dunwoody advances in volleyball playoffs

Chamblee High School’s Lady Bulldogs rallied from a 1-0 deficit to a 3-1 win over the Northgate High School Lady Vikings in the opening round of the Class 5A Volleyball State Playoffs at Chamblee on Oct. 18. 

Northgate (14-28-3) made plays early to build an 18-12 lead in the opening set. Chamblee’s Chloe Bell had a block to pull the Bulldogs within 18-13. 

Northgate’s Lauren Coursey had a put away on an assist from Melaynah Porter to start a 7-0 run that would put the Vikings up 1-0 in the match via a 25-13 win. 

Northgate was up 13-11 in the second set when Chamblee turned up the energy behind the play of Layla Burrell and Naa Adua Annan to score six consecutive points to make an 18-13 lead. Burrell had a kill and two blocks while Natalie Tsai had an assist and a touch shot in the run. 

Annan had a pair of put aways along with blocks by Burrell and Bell as Chamblee built the lead to 24-18. Northgate went to serve, and the serve went wide giving Chamblee the 25-18 set-win to tie the match at 1-1. 

Northgate led 2-0 to open the third set, but the Bulldogs stormed back led by Annan’s three kills. On the next point, Annan chased a ball over the back line and got it back into play for Tsai. Tsai got the ball over the net before Chamblee eventually won the point on the way to taking an 18-10 lead.  

Bell and McKenna Smith teamed up on a block to help close out a 25-16 win to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 advantage in the best-of-five match. 

Chamblee fell behind 3-1 early in the fourth set and rallied to tie it at 3-3 as Tsai made a set for Smith’s put away. Maggie Meeks had a shot off a defender that gave Chamblee the lead at 5-4. 

Tsai assisted Meeks later for another kill that extended the lead to 18-9. Chamblee was up 21-12 when Northgate closed the gap to 23-18. Northgate closed to within 24-20 before a shot went wide giving the Bulldogs a 25-20 win to clinch the match 3-1. 

Dunwoody 3, Rockdale 0

The Dunwoody Lady Wildcats rolled to a 3-0 sweep of the Rockdale County Bulldogs in the first round of the Class 6A state volleyball playoffs Oct. 19 at Dunwoody.

Dunwoody (27-10) went on a 9-0 run in the first set behind the serving of Hayley Baron and the play of Caroline Vanke and Morgan Speice at the net.

Dunwoody’s Hayley Baron dives to save off the floor. Photos by Mark Brock

Vanke had three big hits at the net on assists from Speice, and Speice used a nice touch into an open spot on the Rockdale side of the net as the lead went from 8-4 to 17-4 before Rockdale was able to stop the run.

Dunwoody’s Ava Billeri had a pair service aces, and Jazlyn Daughtry had her third kill of the night as the lead went to 23-6. The two teams traded points in the final moments before Dunwoody finished off the set 25-7 to go up 1-0 in the best-of-five match.

Daughtry got off to a hot start in the second set, hitting three early kills to the far-right corner as Dunwoody jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead and never looked back.

Natalie Duke had a nice stretch of play at the net as the lead went to 13-3. She had two kills and two blocks in the run. The Lady Wildcats cruised on to the 25-7 second set victory to go up 2-0.

Rockdale (15-18) played well early in the third set, forcing Dunwoody to a 3-3 tie before the Lady Wildcats blew open the game with an 11-0 run.

With Claire Warren serving, Vanke got three nice shots on two assists from Lauren Garber and one from Speice. Duke added another point with the assist from Speice.

Rockdale closed to within 15-6 behind the play of Taylor McIntyre at the net before Dunwoody went on a 6-0 run fueled by the serving of Baron. Judy Goodchild, Ella Johnson, and Daughtry scored to push the advantage to 22-6.

Daughtry closed out the match with back-to-back laser kills into the back of the Rockdale defense for the final score of 25-9 to seal the 3-0 match victory.

DCSD volleyball schedule:

Class 5A
Chamblee (22-16) 3, Northgate (14-28-3) 1
Harris Co. (30-16) 3, Arabia Mountain (12-15-1) 0
McIntosh (31-12) 3, Tucker (13-18-1) 0 

Class 3A
Bremen (28-5-2) 3, Cedar Grove (0-17) 0 

Oct. 19

Class 6A 
Dunwoody (27-10) 3, Rockdale Co. (15-19) 0  

Class 4A 
Lovett (24-8) 3, SW DeKalb (25-10-1) 0
Pace Academy (38-1) 3, Stephenson (18-8) 0  

Class 2A 
North Cobb Christian (30-12) 3, Towers (12-18) 0 

Oct. 22

Class 6A 

Dunwoody (27-10) at Houston Co.  (26-12), at a time to be announced  

Class 5A 

Statesboro (22-11) at Chamblee (22-16), 3 p.m.  


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