On the biggest stage yet, Flowery Branch's volleyball program produced its best showing in 2021.
Facing Northwest Whitfield in Class 4A state semifinals, the Lady Falcons overcame a sluggish start en route to a convincing victory (19-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-16) Saturday at the Lake Point Sports Complex in Cartersville.
With the victory, Flowery Branch will return to Cartersville on Nov. 6 to face the winner of the Marist/Fayette County match for the Class 4A state championship.
After having time to catch her breath, Flowery Branch's second-year volleyball coach Taylor Bowman tried her best to put it into words.
"I don't know if there's a word in the English language to describe how great this feels," Bowman said. "We're just all elated with coming out here and picking up the win. I knew these girls had it in them."
After a sluggish first set, the Lady Falcons dominated thanks to a dominating showing from senior outside hitters Ashlyn Browning and Brianna Moore. Also, Bowman said, setter Lyza Thigpen and Savannah Regnier had a tremendous performance.
However, to win at this stage of the season, it took a complete team effort, which is exactly what happened for Flowery Branch.
"This was easily the best we've played all season," Bowman said. "Everyone was clicking today."
Despite trailing by a hefty margin in the first set, Bowman said her girls mounted a rally to make it closer.
In the process, she saw the nerves dwindle.
Then, they settled down and played their best volleyball.
After finishing second in Area 8-4A, Flowery Branch has won 12 of 14 sets in its four postseason matches.
The Lady Falcons shut out Druid Hills in the first round, then Pickens in the state quarterfinals on Wednesday in Flowery Branch.
Flowery Branch passed its first test of the playoffs, a second-round trip to Columbus, with flying colors, winning 3-1 on Oct. 23.