Brookwood wins area volleyball title

LOGANVILLE - It was a good day all around for Brookwood's volleyball team.

The Broncos earned their first Area 8-AAAAA volleyball title with a three-game sweep over rival Parkview on Saturday afternoon at Grayson High School while picking up a couple of individual accolades along the way.

Brookwood head coach Laura Keefer, in just her second year as head coach, was named the area's Coach of the Year while senior Kalin DeMarrais picked up Player of the Year honors.

Brookwood now advances to next Saturday's state sectional tournament at Berkmar as the Area's No. 1 seed while Parkview will begin sectional play at home as the No. 2 seed.

"We worked hard in preparing for them like anybody else but the biggest thing was not letting the mental block of it being Parkview to get in the way," Keefer said. "They have a lot of talent and we know who we have to shut down. We just did a great job."

Brookwood jumped on Parkview early in Game 1 and cruised to a 25-13 win, leading by as many as 11 points. Abby Kroll, who tallied 16 assists on the day, served four of her five aces in the game.

The next two games were much closer but Parkview was never able to muster up any long scoring runs. Game 2 was close with Brookwood (19-14) leading 13-12 when the Broncos went on a 12-3 run to take the game 25-15, helped out in large by good serving from DeMarrais and Melanie Thompson.

Brookwood completed the sweep with a 25-21 win in Game 3. Parkview (25-19) hung tough with the score tied at 14-14 but Brookwood took control with a 6-0 run and closed out the sweep when Kroll assisted a kill by Sam MacFarlane.

"We just didn't play consistently and they did," Parkview head coach Melodie Cleckler said. "We had moments of greatness followed by moments of just plain ugliness."

The match was the fourth time this season the two teams have met and Brookwood's win on Saturday evened the season series a 2-2. Parkview won two matches back on Sept. 9 in the Collins Hill tournament while Brookwood came back three days later to beat the Panthers in an Area 8-AAAAA match.

"We were expecting a challenge but they seemed to fall apart in the first game and we took advantage of that," DeMarrais said. "We all played with our hearts and had a desire to win."

DeMarrais finished with five digs and four kills, upping her kill total for the year to 144. Melanie Thompson added six kills while Kelsey Gratton chipped in with five.

Parkview was led by 14 assists and 10 digs from Caroline Dean. Abby Batchelor added 12 digs while Corbynne White and Leslie Lewis each had six kills.

Central Gwinnett (18-23) sewed up the No. 3 seed by beating Shiloh two games to one (25-20, 22-25, 25-21), leaving Shiloh as the area's No. 4 seed.

Aida Smajic had five digs, 20 assists and three aces in the win. Marijana Surla had six digs, Lindsey NeSmith added nine digs and six aces, Rachel Johnson had seven digs and 10 kills and Teep Adeshigin had 15 kills.

To reach the third place game, Central defeated Meadowcreek 20-25, 25-22, 25-23. Smajic had 11 assists and five kills, Johnson had 10 kills and Amanda Drescher had seven kills.