South Forsyth's first time facing Milton went a little closer to plan.
The War Eagles rallied from a 2-1 deficit, Avery Svehla had a team-high 23 kills and South won the match in the fifth set, 3-2.
But that was two weeks ago.
Thursday was a different story, as the War Eagles were swept by Milton, 3-0, into the third-place game against West Forsyth.
The biggest difference?
"One of our biggest differences is that one of our best players is hurt," South Forsyth head coach Steffi Legall-Riddle said. "When your best all-around player is (hurt), it's a missing piece. We haven't had a chance to play without her, we've only practiced without her. So, you could tell that we were a little unsure about ourselves. We were missing some on-court leadership."
Svehla, who is out with a knee injury, watched from the bench as South struggled to match Milton's physicality, falling 25-19, 25-19, 25-17.
Senior Olivia Grady led the War Eagles (15-15, 4-2 Area 5-7A) with six kills, while Katie Jacobson followed with five.
"I'm just proud of how our girls keep fighting, even in that last set when we're down 24-12 and you keep going, you keep going and you earn a couple more points," Legall-Riddle said. "That's what we've got to take into this next match on Saturday."
South topped West Forsyth 3-1 in its only game against the intracounty rival this season.
Freshman Emilia Estrade played significant minutes Thursday against Milton, finishing with a season-high two kills.
"She had a couple good practices and replaced Aliyah Thompson, who unfortunately didn't play that good today. She just, I think, got discouraged," Legall-Riddle said. "So, you give a freshman a chance and Emmy was just going after it and handling the services well, so that was a bonus point."
Junior Phoebe Dean had back-to-back aces in the first set to draw South within two points, but Milton scored 10 of the last 16 points in the set to pull away.
Milton senior Alex Rogers dominated the third set and was a matchup nightmare for the War Eagles.
"Well, I thought in the first two sets we really did a nice job blocking her," Legall-Riddle said. "It wasn't always straight down because they do a nice job of hitter coverage, but we did a good job of blocking her. In the third set, they moved her around and our middles had trouble tracking her and therefore she ended up with a couple more shots. She's a very nice hitter and can put the ball away, for sure."