Mill Creek falls in five sets at state quarters

ACWORTH -- Mill Creek's season ended on Saturday with a five-set loss (13-25, 25-14, 20-25, 27-25, 15-10) to North Cobb in the quarterfinals of the state volleyball tournament.

The Hawks led 2-1 after three sets, but the Warriors were able to take the final two sets to advance to the state semifinals.

"It's disappointing," said Mill Creek head coach Brian Williamson. "We played well, just made some mistakes in the end."

Mill Creek came out in the first game and dominated, scoring nine of the first 12 points in the game. North Cobb, however, fought back to make the score 12-10, but it was all Mill Creek the rest of the set as North Cobb had seven unforced errors and four service errors during the first set.

Two kills each by Emily Wylie, Cayla Graham and Trinity Garmon helped seal the deal at the end of the first set.

But, just as Mill Creek dominated in the first set, North Cobb did the same in the second.

The Hawks had six unforced errors in the set, losing 25-14. The score was 6-5 in favor of North Cobb after a kill by Garmon, but North Cobb's lone senior (Shauntell Luke) took over and dominated, garnering four kills in the set.

The third game saw the score stay close throughout. Through the first 36 points of the set, neither team led by more than two points. Then, the Hawks separated themselves.

With a 19-17 lead, the Hawks got kills by Audrey Hoffman and Graham. Two kills by Wylie made the score 24-19, with the Warriors committing another unforced error to plays later to drop the set 25-20.

The fourth set was the most competitive set as each team went beyond 25 points. North Cobb seemed to dominated, taking a 16-11 lead, looking in firm control. But, two-straight kills by Wylie and two unforced errors by North Cobb brought Mill Creek to within 16-15.

The Warriors stretched the lead out again to 24-20 after an ace by Karla Radillo. But, the Hawks wouldn't go away, scoring four-straight points to tie the game at 24-24. The 24th point by Mill Creek was the most controversial as North Cobb thought it had gotten a kill for a 25-23 win. However, the call was a spike by Mill Creek was tipped by North Cobb out of bounds, tying the game at 24.

"I think that just shows you to never give up," Williamson said. "We were down by four points (24-20), and we came back to tie it. Our girls never gave up. They fought for every point."

North Cobb wasn't going to be denied, however, as an ace by Luke gave the Warriors a 27-25 win.

In the final set, the teams stayed close through the beginning, but in the end, it was too much North Cobb and too many mistakes by Mill Creek.

Three of Mill Creek's 10 points in the set came off service errors by the Warriors, but those were their only real errors.

"It was too many mistakes in the end," Williamson said. "I'm still proud of these girls. Our seven seniors did a lot of great things for our program."

Wylie led the Hawks with 14 kills, while Hoffman had eight and Nina Orr had seven.