Troup volleyball clinches playoff berth with win over Fayette County

Published 8:00 am Saturday, October 14, 2023

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The Troup volleyball team got their revenge on Thursday night to book a spot in the 2023 4A state playoffs. The Tigers beat Fayette County in straight sets in the opening round of the region 4-AAAA tournament after losing to the same team last year to miss the playoffs.

“We brought a lot of energy to this game and we had to win with a spot in the playoffs on the line,” Troup coach Hutch Blair said. “We will be competing on Saturday to figure out what seed we will be heading into the playoffs, but I’m so thrilled for these girls and seeing all these goals we had coming to fruition.”

The Tigers beat Fayette County twice in the regular season, but knew those games meant nothing compared to the game that played out on Thursday at Starr’s Mill High School.

“We are on top of the world right now,” junior Lanier Glisson said. “It is so special to do it with this team because we are so close. Traveling and spending more time together on the road is going to be so much fun.”

It was sweet relief for all the Tigers involved as they left the court for the final time a season ago with unfinished business. Not this year. 

“It was a good win, but it was also a fun game,” senior Haley Blair said. “This is probably the most fun we have had all season.”

The game was about as complete of a performance as Blair has gotten from his team this season. The Tigers won the first set 25-15, the second set 25-18 and the third 25-18. 

“It was exactly what I wanted,” Blair said. “We played well in every aspect of the game. We didn’t play down to another level. We kept the same energy and stayed fired up on the court and on the bench for the entire game.”

The second set was a real war that saw the Tigers have to dig deep to pull out the win.

“We were out there playing for each other, playing for our best friends,” junior Asa Hall said. “Seeing everybody else working for the same goal makes you want to try and do it for your teammates.”

The team was locked in from the start, and it started on the bus ride up.

“We were locked in,” Jamiya Reed said. “Locking in has been our motto all day.”

Reed says they plan to take that same mentality into the rest of the region tournament and state playoffs. 

“I told everybody at school on (Thursday) not to talk to me because I was locked in,” senior Gracie Horton said. “The bus ride up here was super quiet. We wanted no distractions.”

It was a successful day all around for the Tigers, who also had three players named to the all-area teams/ honorable mention list. Haley Blair was named to the first team while Hailey Clark was named to the second team and Reed was named to the honorable mention list.

“We worked so extremely hard, not for that, but for our team and it feels like the whole team is being rewarded,” Clark said. 

Blair added that it is “great to have players as talented as them get recognized for all the hard work they have put in this season.”

The Troup team will now head into a region semifinal clash with no. 5 ranked Starr’s Mill on Saturday. It will be a tall task for the Tigers, but they are ready for the challenge.

“We are going to bring that same energy and stay locked in,” senior Kaitlyn Walker said as the team shared a laugh.

A win against Starr’s Mill on Saturday will give Troup a chance to play for a region title and will guarantee a home playoff game. A loss will see the Tigers have to hit the road for the 2023 state playoffs. 

Regardless of the outcome of Saturday’s game, the Tigers are excited to be back competing at the highest level in AAAA volleyball.

“That was either going to be the last game I ever played or we were going to keep going,” Horton said. “To be able to keep going means the world to everybody here.”