Eastside eliminated from state playoffs
Lady Eagles downed by Woodland, Henry

STOCKBRIDGE - A slow start by Eastside's volleyball team turned out to be a crucial mistake, as they were eliminated in the Class AAA state playoffs by Woodland, Henry in the first round Saturday.

The Lady Wolfpack won the first game 25-14 before Eastside tied the match with a 25-19 win in the second game.

However, Woodland, Henry was able to keep the Lady Eagles from advancing with wins of 25-18 and 25-11.

Serving, which is usually a strong part of Eastside's game, proved to be a problem, as the Lady Eagles lost 19 service points after regaining the serve from Woodland.

"Normally, we're pretty strong serving, but we had difficulty with our serves. Usually our serves can make a difference in winning or losing a game. I think we could have done better on the serves," Eastside coach Angie Lewis said.

Also hurting the Eastside team was the fact that they were two players short, leaving them with only one substitute.

"Sometimes when one player is off it affects everybody. Only having seven players you can't put somebody in when someone is having a difficult time. I think it hurt," Lewis said. "Tiffani (Hodges), who played libero, is not used to playing libero. But we had to try to give more of an opportunity if someone is having a bad time in the back row. I think it hurt having one sub."

Of course the Eastside's problems were not the only thing keeping them from continuing in the playoffs.

Woodland had good servers and strikers which gave the Lady Wolfpack nine aces and 19 kills in the match.

Pacing Woodland in aces were Kristin Avery, with five, and Chelsea Braddy, with two.

Freshman Pam Konken led the way for Woodland with seven kills followed by Myla Ruffin and Patricia Lyons with six each.

Eastside's slow start allowed Woodland to take a commanding 14-1 lead before the Lady Eagles let the ball hit the floor on the serve thinking it was out of bounds to close out the first game.

There were five lead changes in the first 13 serves in the second game before Eastside took a 7-6 lead and held on to it.

After taking a 16-7 lead, Woodland crawled back into the game to make it 17-15 before Antonia Mullins won the game with a kill.

"The first game we waited way too late to get started. The second game I thought it went well," Lewis said. "They played like they knew what they were doing. Had they played that way the other two games I think we could have come out on top."

The third game started just like the second game, but this time is was Woodland that took the lead at 7-6 and never looked back.

Eastside would score two or three straight points only to allow the Lady Wolfpack to score one more allowing them to extend their lead and take a 2-1 lead.

Lack of communication hurt the Lady Eagles in the fourth game as Woodland took a 17-4 lead. But in the end Woodland made fewer mistakes than Eastside, giving them the win.

Eastside's Katie Johnston paced the Lady Eagles in aces and kills with five followed by Sydney Mumpower who had two in both categories.

"We practice with a roof with a low ceiling so I think they were holding back on their hits which I think may have messed them up a little bit," Lewis said.

"Sometimes you're on your game and sometimes you're not. I think when they communicated they did well."