The Gilmer High School Lady Bobcats volleyball team road to Ringgold for the Region 8-AAAA Tournament at Heritage High School, where the Lady “Cats” clinched a fourth seed in the state tournament, after beating Northwest Whitfield. Previously the Lady “Cats” avoided another catastrophe at the hands of the Catamounts, when Gilmer disposed Dalton, the team that had knocked Gilmer out of the Region Tournament, the three previous years. This is the first trip to the state playoffs for the Gilmer volleyball team since 2006.
After a first round loss to Southeast Whitfield, the Lady “Cats” faced the arch nemesis Lady Catamounts of Dalton, a team that the entire senior class had lost two three consecutive years. Gilmer gave Dalton a dousing of Region revenge, sweeping the Catamounts in straight sets.
Head coach, Donna Parks, was candid about her team’s previous struggles against Dalton, the desire to destroy Dalton, and the exuberance that came after closing out the Catamounts.
“They (the Lady “Cats”) went into it thinking, and every year since that first year they knocked us out, every year since the last two years, especially last year, they’re like ‘they’re not going to do it again, they’re not going to do it again.’ But then it seems like we went out there and it was like they’d (Dalton) get a point ahead or two points ahead and it was like oh they’re doing it again. So we knew going into it we were going to have to shake that off and completely deal with that before we ever got there. We really just focused on Dalton because we thought we’ve got to get that part over with, get our heads in the game and that’s what they did.”
After sweeping the Catamounts, Gilmer faced the Lady Bruins of Northwest Whitfield. The Lady Bruins took the first closely contested set, 26-24. The set featured 10 ties, and eight lead changes.
Gilmer took the second set 25-16. Two straight aces from Brooke Sims put the Lady “Cats” up 6-3 early in the set, and the Lady Bruins never got closer than three the rest of the set.
The third set, mirrored the first set, with plenty of back and forth action. The set saw, eight ties and five lead changes. After a tie at 21-21, the Lady “Cats” clawed out the next four points, including a kill each from Sims and Sarah Lambert, securing a 25-21 set win, a 2-1 match win, and a place in the state tournament.
Gilmer next faced Ringgold for the right to secure a higher seed and a possible home match in the state tournament. The first hard fought set went to Ringgold, 25-21. The set saw 10 ties and three lead changes. A kill from Jenna Parks, broke a 14-14 tie in Gilmer’s favor; however, an 11-6 run by Ringgold won the set for the Lady Tigers.
Gilmer took the second set in a nail biter, 25-23. An ace from Parks broke a 23-23 tie, and Sims sealed the deal with a kill to take the set. The set saw seven ties and five lead changes.
The Lady Tigers took the last set, and the match, with a 7-0 run after the score was tied at 17-17. Ringgold won 25-17, wining the match 2-1.
Gilmer is set to face Columbus at Columbus in the first round of the state tournament.