When Thursday’s Class AAAA first round volleyball match went to a fifth set, West Hall won the coin toss and chose to remain on the right side of the court.
It seemed like the right move since all four sets were won on that end of the court.
Little did the visitors from Hall County know that Chapel Hill usually plays better on the left side.
And it definitely showed as the Panthers on the tiebreaker set to take the match 3-2 to advance to the second round of state.
“This is so exciting,” Chapel Hill senior Rebecca Mills said. “It was special to end it on this side of the court. It is our lucky side. Playing at home definitely helped us because we practice on both ends of the court.”
The Panthers won 25-21, 23-25, 25-13, 13-25, 17-15 to advance to Tuesday’s second round against St. Pius, which won 3-0 per Southeast Whitfield at home.
“Last year we made it to the Sweet 16, and I wanted to get back there for my senior year,” Chapel Hill senior Kerstin Curtis said. “It was real important for us to win this match. My sister got to the Sweet 16 as a senior and I wanted it too. It was real stressful but I’m glad we won.”
The final set had plenty of action it was tied seven times. Chapel Hill finally gained control and took at 16-15 lead before closing out the set.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Chapel Hill coach Jeremy Anderson said. “I think our team chemistry has made a huge difference for us. I think the girls trust each other and they have each other’s back.”
Mills had 17 kills, 21 service points and four aces in the win while Amarri Stewart had seven kills. Kara Holloway had 20 service points.
“Everyone played a big roll in this win,” Mills said. “It is so exciting that I want to cry. I’m proud of this team.”