The 2014 volleyball season was a tale of one team’s domination in Douglas County. The Chapel Hill High School volleyball team had a very successful year with a 36-7-1 overall record. They lost only three games to Region 5-AAAAA opponents.
For their dominance in the county and during the season, CHHS is named this year’s Douglas County Sentinel Team of the Year. Their coach, Jeremy Anderson, is named Coach of the Year.
“I am just really proud of this team,” Anderson said. “They broke the school record for wins in a season and accomplished every goal they set out for. They came in from day one and put in the effort and it showed in a first round playoff win and winning the county trophy. It was a real special season.”
Anderson added that it was an honor to receive the coach award but he gives all the credit to the girls.
“These girls can make anyone look good. The way they perform and move on the floor, their attitude, this is a reflection on them,” Anderson said.
The Lady Panthers opened the season with 11 straight wins before eventually tying North Paulding in the Rockmart Tournament on Aug. 28. Chapel Hill would go on to win two more games before receiving their first loss to Sonoraville in the same tournament on Aug. 30.
The girls of Chapel Hill would not let the loss pull them on the track to success. The team rebounded to win their next seven games. They dropped the eighth game on Sept. 11 against a familiar foe in North Paulding, a 6A school. The match would go to three games.
In the very next game, the Lady Panthers suffered their first region loss to Allatoona. The Lady Buccaneers controlled the match from beginning to end.
Five victories later, Chapel Hill met Allatoona again, suffering another loss. However, this time both games played were competitive as the Lady Panthers picked up their tempo.
On Sept. 27, Chapel Hill hosted the annual Douglas County Volleyball Championships, winning the event for the first time. The Lady Panthers tore through their opponents in pool play, going undefeated all the way to the title game. They did not drop a single game in the county matches until the championship game, which they took 2-1.
Chapel Hill opened the tourney with a straight set victory over New Manchester, winning 25-13 and 25-10. They defeated Alexander in the second match of pool play, winning both games, 25-15. Against DC in the third match, the Lady Panthers won 25-12 and 25-15.
Chapel Hill closed out pool play with a 25-14 and 25-6 match victory over Lithia Springs.
In the Championship game, Douglas County would take the Lady Panthers to three sets for the first time on the day. The Lady Tigers took the first game, 25-15. However, Chapel Hill took the next two games, 25-13 and 25-12.
“We wanted to win this tournament all four years that I have coached at Chapel Hill and we have never been able to do it until now so we are excited,” Anderson said after the tourney. “We knew we had a good enough team to do it, it was just a matter of the girls coming together and getting it done.”
The Lady Panthers finished the regular season on a winning steak and headed into the region tourney with momentum. However they would have to meet Allatoona once again. They played the Lady Cougars tough in the championship game but lost in three games, 18-25, 20-25 and 20-25.
Earning a No. 2 seed for the region, the Lady Panthers had the opportunity to host a first round playoff game against Ola.
The visiting team came out hot and Chapel Hill struggled, going down two games to none and facing elimination. Ola took a 4-1 lead in the third game before the Lady Panthers started to find momentum to tie at 5-5. Back and forth play ensued before Chapel Hill took the lead for good at 21-20.
After taking the third game, Chapel Hill tied Ola by winning the fourth game, 25-15. In the final game, Chapel Hill dominated, taking a 4-0 lead and then going up 8-2. They won 15-9 to advance to the Sweet 16.
The Lady Panthers saw their title hopes end in the next round, losing to River Ridge in three game, 25-13, 25-8 and 25-12.
Chapel Hill was led by Kylah Maxwell-Brown, Daryl Mitchell and Emily Austin. The trio was dominant in all aspects of the game. Maxwell-Brown led Chapel Hill with
with 393 kills. She was second on the team with a .627 hit percentage. Maxwell-Brown also had 479 serves, 99 aces, only 25 service errors, and nine blocks.
“Kylah worked hard from day one when she first started playing volleyball and worked every day during the season and in the offseason,” Anderson said. “She brought a positive attitude, an intensity, and an energy of excitement. She was a great role model and an impressive player.”
Maxwell-Brown, for her play this season, is named the DCS All-County Player of the Year.
2014 DCS ALL-COUNTY
Team of the Year
Coach of the Year
Player of the Year
Daryl Mitchell (CHHS)
Mitchell had a team high .663 hit percentage in the 2014 season. She also led the team in serves (619) and aces (177). She made only 24 service errors. Mitchell also had 153 kills and 17 blocks.
“Daryl had high expectations entering the season and lived up to them,” Anderson said. “She made every pass look good and makes it look effortless. She is graceful and a natural. We had her for four years and she will be hard to replace.”
Kylah Maxwell-Brown (CHHS)
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Emily Austin (CHHS)
Austin had a .589 and finished second on the squad with 282 kills. She served the ball 410 times and picked up 127 aces. She committed only 30 service aces.
“She was our defensive player of the year,” Anderson said. “She was our number one passer and was constantly putting the ball in play for Daryl to set and Kylah to hit.”
Reece Blackley (AHS)
Blackley had a 54-percent kill percentage this season and 337 total kills. She picked up 47 blocks and 30 digs. She served the ball 258 times, picking up 79 aces.
“Reece meant a lot to the team this year,” said AHS coach Rikki-Lynn Baxter. “As a freshman she had the most kills and the most blocks on the team, not to mention a mean serve. She is a hard worker on and off the court and will continue to help the team grow in the years to come.”
Maya Jackdon (DCHS)
“She was the glue for our team this year and was one of the captains,” said DC coach Lee Spoor. “She was a leader on and off the court and kept everyone focused and in a positive frame of mind. She was our setter and did fairly well for her first time setting. She was outstanding in coverage and blocking. It the ball was falling to the floor, she would appear.”
Kennedy Curtis (DCHS)
“She was our first server and probably our hardest hitter,” Spoor said. “She is an excellent blocker and opponents had a hard time spiking on us because of her. She has a great attitude and is only going to get better. I look forward to next year for her.”
Kamara Daughtry (CHHS)
Micayla Davidson (CHHS)
Christa Haynes (CHHS)
Mmachi Okeke (DCHS)
Hannah West (AHS)
Azaria Dobbs (NMHS)
(AHS) Kelsy Ozorai, Auriel Byrd, Jada Burns, Morgan Blackley (CHHS) Kayleigh Reimer, (DCHS) Sierra Dubois, Katie Baskin, (LSHS) Casi Gilbert, Megan Jackson, Toana Riklon-Bunny, (NMHS) Janyi Weathersby, and Tia Robinson