G-P wins district volleyball title
The Gatlinburg-Pittman volleyball team remained perfect in district play this season, taking the District 3-AA tournament title in straight sets over Carter on Thursday night at Jim Williams Gymnasium.
“I think that was the most complete match we’ve played all year, and it came at a good time,” said G-P coach Conchita Johnson. “They were just playing really well together, and everyone was contributing.
“I think the girls played with more emotion and more focus than all year. Volleyball is such a game of momentum, and I don’t think we ever let it get away from us.”
The Highlanders (20-3 overall, 12-0 District 3-AA) breezed through the championship with 25-16, 25-7 and 25-18 victories to take the crown.
G-P’s Bethany Sutton was awarded the Tournament MVP, but it could have gone to a number of Highlanders.
“It was tough to find one person that you could say ‘OK, this is the player of the game,’” said Johnson. “The girls just all played really well. They just all played their roles well.
“When you can do that, good things are going to happen for you.”
Also named to the All-Tournament Team for G-P were Haris Price and Brieann Yount.
The Lady Highlanders will play in the region tournament next week, also at Carter. The day and opponent of the region match are TBA.
Union County 0
Yount helped lead the Highlanders to a three-game sweep in the semifinals against Union County with five aces and 12 straight service points down the stretch of the deciding game.
“She’s our only senior, and I think that was good for her to be in that position for us,” said Johnson.
With the Highlanders leading 13-5 in Game 3 after taking 25-6 and 25-19 wins in games 1 and 2 respectively, Yount went back to serve and never relinquished offensive possession with 12 straight service points that included a game-ending ace to make it the 25-5 final.
“I was really proud of her for serving out,” said Johnson. “It was good for her in that situation to step up and do that for her team.”
The semifinal win advanced the Highlanders to the district tourney final and secured a berth in the region tournament.
Pigeon Forge 1
Despite a valiant effort, Pigeon Forge (6-7 overall, 5-5 District 3-AA) saw its season come to a close with a four-game loss to Carter on Thursday night.
The Tigers won Game 2 by a 25-19 final, but lost heartbreaking games 1, 3 and 4 by identical 26-24 margins.
“The girls played with heart, and this is the one they wanted to win the most all season to get to the region,” said first-year Tigers coach Carrie Bailey. “I’m proud of their effort. We just came up a little bit short. A few more points, and we’d still be playing.
“I believe we have a good foundation. We’ve got a lot of good athletes ... and a lot of girls who want to better themselves and continue to get better from here on out.”
Pigeon Forge’s Jessie Sharp was named to the All-Tournament Team.