ALPHARETTA, Ga. — In a non-region battle between two of the top volleyball teams in the state, Alpharetta defeated Blessed Trinity in three sets (16-25, 26-24, 15-6) Sept. 26.
Alpharetta (32-2) entered the match sporting a No. 24 national ranking by MaxPreps to take on the perennial powerhouse Titans, who have compiled four state championships and two state runner-up finishes in the last seven seasons. Though Blessed Trinity took the first set, 25-16, Alpharetta won a dramatic second set and dominated the decisive third.
Despite dropping the first set, Alpharetta jumped out to a 14-6 lead, but following a BT timeout, the Titans stormed back with a 11-1 run to tie the set at 17. The teams went back and forth until another timeout was called with the score tied up, 24-24.
After a quick break, the Raiders took the next two points to win the second set and force a third.
“We had a slow start,” said Alpharetta head coach Grace Fossier. “BT was phenomenal and came out strong. The end was great. We rallied and played.”
Alpharetta continued its hot play into the third set, dominating Blessed Trinity by a score of 15-6 to win the set and the match.
“[Blessed Trinity] battled,” Fossier said. “They’re such good defenders. They’re an incredible team. You can’t just kind of play. You have to play the whole time and play all the way through.”
Fossier acknowledged the team has a lot of pressure to perform well. Even though she doesn’t put too much stock into the team’s top-25 ranking, she knows there are a lot of eyes watching them as the team to beat in the region and possibly the state.
“We do have a lot of pressure on us,” she said. “We have a lot of expectations on us. Everybody plays their best against us, they’re out to get us.”
But Thursday’s result and the Raiders’ 32-2 record is evidence Alpharetta is handling the pressure well.
For Blessed Trinity, the loss might be disappointing but the Titans are still eying another deep playoff run. In their first year under new head coach Allison Boes, the Titans have locked up the top spot in Region 7-AAAA and will enter the region tourney, which starts Oct. 8, as the No. 1 seed.
As of Sept. 26, the Raiders are in a four-way tie for the top spot in Region 7-AAAAAA along with Pope, Chattahoochee and Centennial. Pope handed Alpharetta its only region loss and the Raiders will close out their region slate against Chattahoochee and Centennial Oct. 1.