After finishing as the Area 1-AAAAAA runner-up and earning a No. 2 seed entering the Class 6A state tournament, Brunswick was eyeing a nice little run in the postseason.
Those plans were derailed on Wednesday, however, by a volleyball buzz saw wearing blue and silver.
At the Brunswick High gym, South Forsyth made short work of the home team, sweeping the Lady Pirates three sets to none in a best-of-5 match to open the postseason.
The win sends South Forsyth, a perennial top-5 team in Class 6A that fell to third place in its own area after falling twice in the Area 5-6A tournament, to next week’s second round to face either East Coweta or Mill Creek.
"Our region is really tough," South coach Kelly Wren said. "As far as the state rankings this year, three of our area teams have been in the top 4 (in the state) all season long. We were No. 1, No. 2, then coming into this, we were No. 4 because we lost to the top two teams in our region (Chattahoochee and Johns Creek).
"Competitively, we’ve played a really tough schedule all year long, and I think that makes a huge impact in how ready we are for the playoffs."
Brunswick entered as its area’s second seed after knocking off Tift County, then falling to area champion Camden County in their league tournament. The Lady Pirates made definite strides under head coach Nagene Thomas.
"Their region is so strong, and that’s what they do: they do volleyball and they do it quite well," Thomas said of the War Eagles. "But we had a good year. I thought all of them did well — the seniors, everybody. Even though it was rough sometimes, they didn’t give up. They got better and better."
Buoyed by seven seniors, South Forsyth dominated on Wednesday, winning in less than an hour by scores of 25-5, 25-11 and 25-14. Senior Jordan Hawk said the success of the War Eagles lies in their dedication to winning and to each other.
"We’ve been working really hard together and want it so badly we are willing to put all our time and effort in," Hawk said. "Our strength is our offense, and our passing is defense is really strong, so that helps us a lot. I think we’re good enough to get to the final four."
Taloy Svehla led South with 11 kills, Rachel Croce had eight kills and 12 digs, while Amanda Nugent added five kills. Tory Wright had 12 digs, Hannah Shanley had 10 digs and Kelli McCravy led the team with 27 assists.