From Staff Reports
Like last year, Southeast Whitfield High School’s volleyball team returned from a trip Tuesday to Marist School with its season over.
The Lady Raiders lost in three sets, 25-12, 25-7, 25-13, to the Lady War Eagles in the second round of the Class 4A state tournament. Almost a year ago, Southeast played and lost to the eventual state champions, Sandy Creek, at Marist’s gym in the state semifinals.
Southeast coach Bethany Kenemer said simulation in practice wasn’t enough to prepare for the talented and experienced Lady War Eagles’ roster.
“They were digging up balls that would normally be kills,” Kenemer said. “They were running sets and plays that we had never seen before.”
Angie Purkey had nine assists and nine digs for Southeast (30-13). Wendy Perez and Serena Ramsey each had five kills, and Gaby Gonzalez added three. Yasmeen Paloblanco had 12 digs, and Melisa Fraire had nine digs.
Marist (30-12) has won nine state championships, according to the school’s website, and owns six state titles since the Georgia High School Association began recognizing volleyball as a sport in 1994. The Lady War Eagles’ last championship came in 2006, but they advanced to the semifinals last season.
“In the third game, even though it was 25-13, we really battled in that game,” Kenemer said. “There were some phenomenal rallies — pass, set and hit. It was back and forth. There was some great volleyball.”
For the fifth consecutive season, the Lady Raiders reached the second round of the state postseason bracket. Last year’s run to the semifinals was the only of those five seasons with Southeast advancing past the second round.
“Honestly, I am super proud of the way they played tonight,” Kenemer added. “There is no shame in losing to a team like Marist. We had two freshmen and two sophomores who didn’t have a whole lot of playing time on varsity. For them to play a team like Marist is only a good thing.”
• Murray County and Morris Innovative had boys and girls runners compete at a three-team meet on Fort Mountain with Gordon Central rounding out the competition.
The Indians won the boys meet with 15 points and had nine runners in the top 10. Gordon Central finished second with 84 points and Morris Innovative only had four runners and did not record a team score.
Servio Martinez won the race with a time of 18 minutes, 2 seconds for Murray County, which also had top-10 finishes from Antonio Servio Martinez won the race with a time of 18 minutes, 2 seconds for Murray County, which also had top-10 finishes from Antonio Martinez (second, 18:21), Ivan Delgado (third, 18:45), Fili Nunez (fourth, 18:50), Jose Ruiz (fifth, 18:55), Christian Roses (sixth, 19:18), Jordy Martinez (seventh, 19:26), Tony Bautista (eighth, 19:26) and Austin Pearson (10th, 19:46).
For Morris Innivative, Justin Scott finished in 20:53, followed by Russell Burse (21:09), Ethan Martinez (29:08) and Ronal Bueso (34:57). Place finishes were not available.
On the girls side, Gordon Central won with 21 points while Murray County scored 42 points.
Kaitlyn Richardson finished second overall with a time of 23:03 to lead the Lady Indians, who also had top-10 runs from Chloe Brown (fifth, 24:39) and Nicole Hammett (10th, 26:27).
Denisse Cuevas finished in 28:58 as Morris Innovative’s lone runner, but a place finish wasn’t available.