The top-seeded Carrollton High School volleyball team defeated No. 2 Loganville in five sets in the second round of the Class AAAAA state playoffs on Criswell Court on Tuesday to punch its ticket to the elite eight for a second straight season.
"I think this speaks a lot for our team's resilience to be able to hang in there in those tough situations," Carrollton head coach Kasey Austin said. "And us being a younger team — I really only have four upperclassmen — it just shows how well-disciplined they are, how much they want to win and how much they want to play for each other."
Each of the Lady Trojans' three victories in the best-of-five bout came in different fashion.
Carrollton jumped out to an early eight-point lead in the first set before allowing Loganville to hang around and eventually take a 23-22 lead. However, the Lady Trojans scored three of the next four points to win the set, 25-24, and take a 1-0 advantage in the match.
Roles were reversed in the second set as Carrollton managed to overcome a 21-17 deficit by scoring eight straight points and securing a 25-21 win, going up 2-0.
But the Lady Red Devils wouldn't go away easily.
They won the next two games — 25-22, 25-18 — to force a winner-takes-all fifth set.
The squads agreed to play a shortened final game, in which the first team to reach 15 points with at least a two-point lead would win.
After being knotted at 16, Carrollton seniors Macie Mansour and Kelsie Thomas provided the final two kills to propel the Lady Trojans to the 18-16 victory over the Lady Red Devils.
"All night, all season, we were playing for our seniors," Austin said. "All of our team has heart, but they just really lead and they kind of set that standard for the team to really have that passion and have that will to win. I can't say enough about them. They're just amazing leaders."
Carrollton now moves on to the elite eight on Saturday.