It took a long time before Cherokee Bluff faced its first adversity Saturday in the Hall County volleyball championship.
But when it arrived, the Lady Bears were up to the challenge.
After dropping the first set of the finals against Chestatee, Cherokee Bluff rebounded well by taking the final two sets to claim its first-ever county championship.
Grace Blythe Cornett had 36 kills, eight serving aces and 25 assists for Cherokee Bluff as it needed just 11 sets to win five matches to finish the 10-team event on top.
In the championship match, the Lady Bears rallied from a 25-20 loss in the first set to win the final two sets 25-21, 15-10 at the brand-new Gainesville Activities Center.
“We’re extremely excited,” first-year Lady Bears coach Tiann Myer said. “That was momentum at it’s best. We dug ourselves a hole, but managed to turn it around. We stuck to our plan and the girls believed in themselves.”
While the final match was a marathon for Cherokee Bluff, it breezed through the first four matches.
Earlier in the day, Cherokee Bluff beat Lakeview Academy (25-6, 25-11), Flowery Branch (25-15, 25-22) and West Hall (25-9, 25-14) in pool play.
Then in the gold bracket, the Lady Bears beat Gainesville (25-19, 25-13) to earn a spot in the finals.
Also for the Lady Bears, Emma Staples finished with 31 kills and 16 service aces, while Maddie Levine had 11 service aces.
Also for Cherokee Bluff, Makayla Brix chipped in 17 kills.
In the third place match, Gainesville topped North Hall.