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West Forsyth takes Area 7-AAA title
Creekview, North Hall and Flowery Branch also headed to state
North Hall’s Sarah Paschall, left, and Haley Panter defend Creekview’s Chelsea Webb’s smash during the Lady Trojans’ loss in Saturday’s Region 7-AAA volleyball semi-final game at the Flowery Branch High gymnasium.

FLOWERY BRANCH — The Area 7-AAA volleyball tournament seedings ended up giving crystal clear insight as to which teams would make the state playoffs.

Creekview, West Forsyth, North Hall and Flowery Branch — the top four seeds for the area tournament — emerged to claim the top four spots for the state tournament as well Saturday at Flowery Branch High.

“I’m not surprised at all that the top four seeds are the four that qualified for state,” North Hall coach Emi Hughes said, after claiming the No. 3 seed to state. “These are four great teams.”

North Hall beat Flowery Branch (25-18, 18-25, 25-18) in the match that determined the fourth-place finisher.

Kathryn Bell led the Trojans (27-14) with 11 assists and four kills. Evann Rowland added three aces, a five-point scoring run, seven kills and six digs and Lauren Gregory had five kills while Anna Marchman added four kills for North Hall.

“I was really happy with our effort against Flowery Branch,” Hughes said. “We rose to the occasion and never lost control of the match.”

North Hall lost to Creekview (25-15, 25-12) in the third place match, giving the Trojans the No. 3 seed heading into the state tournament.

Bell finished with six assists, three digs and a pair of kills. Rowland added four kills, six digs and a pair of blocks for the Lady Trojans and Gregory added three kills and four digs for North Hall.

Flowery Branch (20-18) will head into the state sectionals as the No. 4 seed after beating West Hall earlier in the day Saturday to secure a spot in the state playoffs.

North Hall and Flowery Branch will travel to a host school from Area 3 for the first round of the state playoffs next Saturday.

Falcons’ coach Bryan Mavis said that Jacy Ramey, a libero, and defensive specialist Cori Hosch were the best performances on the day.

He’s not surprised either that the playoff seeds were so accurate in predicting the area finishers.

“Coming in, my guess was almost an assumption about the way the top four would finish,” Mavis said. “The top two (Creekview and West Forsyth) are really close and then the next two (Flowery Branch and North Hall) are really close too in talent.”

West Forsyth (38-9-1) emerged as the Area champion with a win in the finals against Creekview (25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 25-23).

West Forsyth’s Kelsey Turchi finished as the tournament MVP and Wolverines’ coach Jim Orr was tabbed as Area 7-AAA Coach of the Year.

Megan Pepe and Jessica Lewis were named first-team All-Area from West Forsyth. For claiming the top two seeds, West Forsyth and Creekview open the state sectionals at home next Saturday.

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