Lady Gator Volleyball Team Punches Ticket to GHSA State Volleyball Tournament

Lady Gator Volleyball Team Punches Ticket to GHSA State Volleyball Tournament

The 5A region volleyball tournament took place Saturday at New Hampstead High School in Bloomingdale, GA. Before the Lady Gators even took the court, a regular season game between New Hampstead HS and Wayne County HS had to be played in order to determine the seeding for the region tournament. Due to Hurricane Michael, this game was rescheduled for Saturday morning at 9:00am. Originally, the Lady Gators were to play Wayne County for a play-in game for 4th seed. The regular season game between NHHS and Wayne County was important for a couple of reason. If NHHS won, they would be outright 3rd seed, but, if Wayne won, there would be a three way tie between Ware, Wayne, and NHHS. However, head-to-head, Ware was seated 3rd seed due to the Lady Gators beating Wayne during regular season play 3-2. So Ware entered region play as 3rd seed. From that point, Wayne and NHHS would play to determine who would be seeded 4th in the tournament. NHHS would go on and defeat Wayne in three straight sets. In the next match, Seed 1, South Effingham HS, would play 4th seed NHHS. South Effingham would defeat the NHHS in 3 straight sets to take the match.

In match 2, the Lady Gators would take on the number two seed, the Statesboro Lady Devils. The Lady Devils would defeat the Gators in three straight sets by the scores of 25-8, 28-11, and 25-18. The Lady Gators would go on to play the Lady Phoenix of New Hampstead to see who would be seated 3rd and 4th seed for the State Tournament. The Lady Gators would defeat the Lady Phoenix in three straight sets by the score of 25-23 in each set. So the Lady Gators will enter the GHSA State Tournament as the Region 2 5-AAAAA 3rd Seed. The Lady Blue Devils would go on the defeat last year's Region Champs, the South Effingham Lady Mustangs in a 3 to 1 match series. The Lady Blue Devils were crowned as Region Champs. "Even though we lost, it was refreshing to know that we lost to the Region Champs," said Coach Alesia Gibson. "Overall, I am happy about finishing 3rd seed after all the adversity we have experienced throughout this season. Even though our record does not defined us and all of the hard work the girls put in throughout this season. Missing in action, one of our starters, Valencia Baker, didn't get to play due to a death in her family. As a team, we fought through this hardship with the help of a few sophomores; Zhane' Ellis, Saniya Patterson, Janaiza Daniels, and Princess Alston. They really added support to the team during this difficult time. In addition, enough could not be said about the parental support we had today" said Coach Gibson. "It was unbelievable of how many parents and siblings that travel over to root us on during the region tournament."  "Gator Nation should be extremely proud of these young ladies. This is the second time the team has made the State tournament. The team has not made the GHSA State Tournament since 2013 when Gina Howell was head coach, and Coach Gibson served as her assistant. "On Thursday, Gina Howell sent me a text message wishing me and the girls luck in the region tournament. Even though she doesn't coach anymore, she is always asking about the program and rooting for us to do well. For that, I will forever be grateful to her," said Coach Gibson.



Trinity Norwood – 2 aces, 2 kills

Kennia Kirksey - 2 aces, 2 kills

Mikayla Tyre – 1 ace, 1 kill

Grace Sirmons – 5 assists

Kiersten Thrift – 1 block

Kayla Bunch – 1 dig

Maddy Harwell – 1 dig

D'Najah Boyd - 1 kill, 1 assist, 1 block

Arellia Fuentez – 1 ace, 1 dig

Zhane' Ellis – 1 dig

Saniya Patterson – 1 dig

Janaiza Daniels – 1 dig

Princess Alston – 1 dig


Click HERE for the  State Playoff Bracket


(L-R) Kneeling: Journie-Grace little sister, Trinity Norwood, Janaiza Daniels

(L-R) Standing Middle Row: Arellia "Dot" Fuentez, Maddy Harwell, Saniya Patterson, Kayla Bunch, Kennia Kirksey

(L-R) Standing Back Row: Zhane' Ellis, Kiersten Thrift, Princess Alston, Grace Sirmons, D'Najah Boyd, Mikayla Tyre,





 This story sponsored by our newest financial partner, Southeastern Credit Union. Contact Berry Tanner for information. or call 912-809-3572 or 912-281-8696