The Gainesville High volleyball program locked up a berth in the state playoffs by beating Dacula (25-17, 25-9) and Habersham Central (25-22, 25-20) in the first two rounds of the Area 8-6A tournament Thursday in Winder. With the wins, the Lady Red Elephants advance to face Apalachee in the semifinal round at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The third-seeded Gainesville opened by beating Dacula for the third time this season. Isabella Appling led with eight digs and four kills for the Lady Red Elephants, while Camille Calkins finished with three kills and four blocks.
Also in the match, Ashley Turner had an ace, eight kills and two digs. Lauren Teasley had three kills and three blocks.
In the second round, Gainesville upset No. 2 seed Habersham Central. The Lady Red Elephants opened with commanding leads that produced strong defense and efficient offense.
Calkins finished off the match with a thundering kill that came off a perfect pass on serve-receive from Karlea Grace Langford to Isabella Garrish.
For the match, Calkins had two kills and three blocks, while Appling had seven kills and eight digs. Also for the Lady Red Elephants, Turner had an ace, eight kills and 10 digs. Camille Holcomb had six assists and three digs for Gainesville, while Garrish chipped in 14 assists, three digs and an ace.
WEST HALL ADVANCES TO STATE PLAYOFFS: The Lady Spartans placed 4th in Region 7-4A, beating Denmark 25-20, 25-18 but falling to White County 24-26, 26-24, 15-7.
Cadie Shirley finished the event with 21 kills and 12 digs, and was named to the All-Region first team. Kinsey Wilson added 19 digs and 17 kills and was selected for the All-Region second team. Kaitlyn Courson contributed 35 assists.
West Hall will start the state tournament with a first-round match next Saturday.
Compiled by Bill Murphy