No. 2 Harrison ends Brookwood's volleyball season

KENNESAW -- Brookwood's run in the 2011 Class AAAAA state volleyball tournament finally came to an end in the Elite Eight as No. 2-ranked Harrison took a 25-15, 25-12, 25-18 win over the Broncos.

Brookwood, the No. 9 team in Class AAAAA, saw its six-match win streak snapped and ends its season at 38-12.

Harrison, 45-4 overall and winner of 17 straight matches, moves on to play the winner of North Cobb-West Forsyth next Wednesday in the state semifinals at Parkview.

"(Harrison) is a legitimate No. 2 team in the state," said Brookwood head coach Brian Welsch. "It was a tough matchup for us in the round of eight and I wish we could have seen that kind of opponent in the final four. We were ready for them and knew what to expect, but playing a team of that caliber is tough because they force so many mistakes. (Harrison) has great ball control and we knew what was coming, but there were times when we just couldn't do anything about it. They are a solid program."

After dropping the first two games by double-digits, Brookwood hung tough in Game 3.

Trailing early 6-2, Brookwood bounced back and trailed just 7-6 and then again at 13-11.

But Harrison was too much and the Hoyas went on an 8-2 run to push ahead 21-13.

Brookwood wouldn't go away and got it to 23-18, but Harrison finished off the match with the final two points.

"It was a great season, especially considering where we started and where we finished," said Welsch of a Brookwood program making its second consecutive appearance in the round of eight. "I attribute 100 percent of our improvement over the season to hard work. We started the season running simple plays and simple serving and finished the season running combination plays. That doesn't come without effort. Coaches and players put in the effort and that got us to where we are today."

Erin Shelton led Brookwood with seven kills and one ace while Sam Gratton had three kills.

Bethany Easom had 17 assists and two kills and Katie Kraft was solid digging from the back line for the Broncos.

Harrison was led by Tyra Montour's eight kills and Megan Bright's seven kills and one ace.

Alexis Ryan had six kills and an ace, Caroline Ostman added seven kills and Kelly Scott had 26 assists and two aces for the Hoyas.

"Brookwood played really well, they're a good team and we hadn't seen them this year," said Harrison head coach Clay Taylor. "We tried to use our aggressive serves and take them out of their offense and I think we were able to do that. We've been on a roll winning 17 in a row and we haven't dropped a set in 16 in those. But we'll have to be ready next week."