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Volleyball: Central falls to Alpharetta in Elite Eight
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The Forsyth Central Bulldogs' volleyball season came to an end Tuesday night after falling 3-1 in a best-of-five series against Alpharetta High School. - photo by Jacob Smith

ALPHARETTA — The Forsyth Central Bulldogs' volleyball season came to an end Tuesday night after falling 3-1 in a best-of-five series against Alpharetta High School. 

After finishing third at the Region 6-7A volleyball tournament, the Bulldogs won their first two playoff matches against Mountain View and Newnan High School, both on the road. 

The Bulldogs came out of the gates on fire Tuesday night, taking the first set 25-15 and taking an early 14-8 lead over the Raiders in game two. However, Alpharetta began to chip away, coming back to win game two 25-21. 

All hope seemed lost after Central went down 19-9 in the third set, but head coach Brian Walsh called a timeout that allowed the Bulldogs to a 11-6 run to end the game. The Bulldogs still lost 25-20 in game three, but momentum was creeping back to their side. 

Set four was back-and-forth with neither team taking a big lead. The first timeout was called late into the game, with Central down 18-14. The Bulldogs responded well off of the timeout, tying the game at 21 after a powerful kill by senior Sarah Pipping. 

Alpharetta blocker Logan Wiley, the Press Sports top-rated middle blocker for the Class of 2024, strung together the Raiders’ last four kills of the game to eliminate Central from the playoffs. 

Pipping had a team-high 15 kills, with senior Emma Kiser right behind with 12 kills of her own. Sophomore Ava Ellis had a team-high three aces through the four sets and also added four kills of her own. 

Central finished the season with a 31-15 record.