Broncos top rival Parkview for area volleyball championship

LOGANVILLE -- Brookwood came into Saturday's area volleyball tournament with an undefeated record in 7-AAAAAA and a trip to state secured after beating Grayson on Wednesday.

After a win over Archer earlier in the day, only one thing stood between the Broncos and a third straight area crown: rival Parkview.

But the adrenaline of facing a rival for the area title wasn't enough for Parkview, falling to Brookwood 25-15, 25-13, 25-13 in the best-of-five finals.

"This is the first time we've played Parkview for the area championship," Broncos coach Brian Welsch said. "I was a little nervous going into it just based on the pure Five Forks rivalry between Brookwood and Parkview. Regardless of how you prepare, regardless of how your season's gone, when it's orange and blue vs. maroon and gold, it's almost a toss-up.

"But we were excited, and we were prepared. The girls worked hard, and I was confident."

The Broncos started the matchup on a roll, scoring nine of the first 11 points to build a 9-2 lead. The Panthers made a little bit of a run, winning five of the next seven to cut the deficit to 11-8. But down the stretch the Broncos put together run of five and four points to secure the first game 25-15.

Parkview started the second game with a chance to get back in the match, going up 4-2 early. But Brookwood came back with an 11-1 run and never let Parkview win more than three consecutive points. The Broncos won four of the last five points and won 25-13 to go ahead 2-0 in the match.

"I thought our team came out pretty strong," Parkview coach Catherine Zidow said. "Brookwood's a big team. They had a big block, great swings, so we were really focused on defense and blocking.

"Brookwood just played a very good game. They made very few errors."

Both teams played evenly to start the third game, pushing to tied scores of 6-6 and 7-7. Parkview kept the game close up to trailing 15-13. That's when Brookwood made a push to the finish, scoring four straight points to go up 19-13 and scoring the final seven, sealed with an ace by Hannah Kitchen, to win 25-15 and claim the finals in three games.

Maggie Collins, who was named area player of the year, Nicole Blanding and Leslie Stinnett each had eight kills against Parkview. Hannah Kitchen provided the bulk of the assists for the Broncos.

"I was confident that we were going in with a great team," Collins said, "and I knew that we'd be able to pull together and go for the three-peat."

Riley Weyher was Parkview's top scorer on the day in all matches with two aces, 20 kills and 12 digs. Cori Harber had four aces, seven kills, 43 assists and seven digs, Rachel Rust had 18 digs and six kills, and Justice Davis had 28 digs.