Jennifer Golden feels really good about her program’s future. The Greenwood coach likes the present, too.
Junior Erin Black had a dozen kills and senior Maddie Gilliam added 11 as the Lady Bulldogs kept Fayetteville, the defending 7A state champion, winless Thursday with a 25-22, 25-22, 25-20 victory.
"(Fayetteville coach Jessica Phelan) told me they were young, but that doesn’t mean anything," Golden said. "Her kids play really hard."
Fayetteville squandered an opportunity in the opener, with Greenwood breaking free late behind the hitting of Gilliam.
But Cassidy Ginger and Ellie Breden helped Fayetteville build a quick 14-7 lead in the second game. The Lady Bulldogs were still behind 18-12 when momentum found its way to the Greenwood bench.
Black’s ace pulled Greenwood within three at 19-16. Then back-to-back kills by sophomore Regan Jones and senior Courtne Climer tied the game at 19. Gilliam snapped a 22-all tie with one of her 11 kills.
"It means that we have fight in us," Golden said of the comeback. "In the face of adversity, we showed we can come out and decide that we’re going to play and take advantage of the situation and go with it."
Greenwood didn’t have to work quite as hard in the finale, with Jones’ kill and junior Caroline Scott’s ace helping spark a 7-1 run that extended the Lady Bulldogs’ lead to 15-9.
To their credit, Fayetteville crept within two at 16-14 thanks to kills by Olivia Thomas, Spresser Hadley and Ginger.
But a block by Black, followed by one of her 12 kills quickly pushed the lead back to five.
"I feel like we’re very well (balanced) across the board, as far as offense," Golden said. "We don’t just have the one (star player), although we have a couple that we go to quite a bit. We’re a force all the way around the net."
High School Volleyball
Greenwood def. Fayetteville 25-22, 25-22, 25-20.
Southside def. Rogers 25-17, 25-11, 25-16.