ALPHARETTA — It was a short stay at the Area 6-AAAAA volleyball tournament for the two Forsyth County schools represented there.
Competing at Alpharetta High on Thursday, North Forsyth and South Forsyth both went two-and-out in the double elimination bracket, ending the seasons for the Lady Raiders and Lady War Eagles.
North opened up with a two-game loss to host school Alpharetta, then fell out of the tournament with a three-game loss to Roswell. North was nipped in the first game against the Lady Hornets 25-23, then went up 14-0 in the second game, winning it 25-16 to stay alive. Roswell took the decisive third game, 25-20.
“I feel that volleyball in Forsyth County is slowly coming around, [but] still has a long way to go in order to compete with Fulton and Cobb County,” departing North coach Chuck Crawford said.
“The key to competing with the top schools in the state is club volleyball. I believe it will happen. We simply have too many great athletes in Forsyth County [for things not to improve].”
Crawford, who is leaving the North program to spend more time with his newborn child and focus on his duties as a club volleyball coach, noted that North went from winning one match in 2004 and 2005 to two consecutive winning seasons.
The Lady Raiders finished up 26-19 on the year.
“Often coaches get way too much credit for the success or failure of a team. The reality is that a coach is only as successful as their athletes,” Crawford said.
South opened up with a three-game loss to Milton, eking out a 25-22 win in the opening game before falling in the next two games, 25-13 and 25-17.
South’s season ended with a three-game loss to Centennial. South was in a big hole early in the third game, but managed to climb back in and make it close, losing 25-19.
“We picked a really bad weekend not to show up, so it’s very disappointing,” War Eagle coach Kelly Wren said.
Wren said that inconsistency was a key concern for South this season, noting that the Lady Eagles beat Area 6-AAAAA opponents outside of official area play, but struggled in the area schedule. South finished 25-16 on the season.
“We didn’t play well in the region, we really didn’t,” she said.
“We’re just inconsistent. Sometimes we played really well and would kill people and then sometimes we just didn’t show up, and I never knew which team would be here on which particular day, so I guess that’s probably a pretty typical high school problem.”
Both coaches said their teams will return plenty of talent next year and should be competitive.
While the season ended early for South and North, both programs saw some impressive highlights during the regular season, thanks to solid starts. South cracked the top 10 in the GaSports.com coaches poll during the regular season, while North climbed as high as 11th in the rankings.