North Cobb’s Abby Miller served back-to-back aces to bring the Lady Warriors within one point of tying the third set at 24-all. But in an attempt to tie the set, Miller hit a soft serve into the body of Harrison’s Bailey Scott in the front row, and Scott quickly reacted with a pass for her sister, Kelly, to set.
Kelly Scott then set the ball Kodi Smith, who was out of position to make a firm kill on the outside, but she tapped the ball to a part of the court the Lady Warriors weren’t covering. The ball fell to the court, and the Lady Hoyas escaped with a 20-25, 25-14, 25-23 win.
“I knew where I wanted it to go, and it went there,” said Smith, who finished with eight kills against North Cobb. “I just wanted to keep the point going so, when they got the ball over, we can still fight back.”
Second-ranked Harrison (31-5, 5-0) also beat Kennesaw Mountain 25-10, 25-10 in the area tri-match, as did ninth-ranked North Cobb (23-9, 4-1) by a 25-15, 25-20 margin.
In the final match of the night, Harrison went through a first-set lapse, with North Cobb suffering a lapse of its own in the second set. In the third set, however, the teams seemed to be in top form, and the match was capable of going either way.
With the set tied at 6-all, Harrison was the first side to gain separation, thanks to a pair of North Cobb errors.
The Lady Warriors were called for a double-hit on a pass to give Harrison a 9-7 lead, and Miller’s attack hit the antenna to add to the Lady Hoyas’ lead.
But after calling timeout, North Cobb bounced right back. The Lady Warriors tied it at 11-all on two service errors by Harrison and a block by setter Taylor Parrish.
The teams were on even terms for the next 10 points before Harrison jumped in front again.
A kill on the first pass by Olivia Windover gave Harrison a lead it did not relinquish at 17-16. The Lady Hoyas added on to it after a double-hit by North Cobb and a Taylor Haskins kill that ended a long point.
Harrison later took a 23-20 lead on a Haskins tip that went over Parrish’s head and landed on the baseline, and Smith came through with a kill that gave the Lady Hoyas the first of four match points.
“We just had to be a team,” Harrison coach Clay Taylor said. “In the first set, we were playing in portions. And, in the second and third sets, we played as a unit, and that was the difference.”
North Cobb served well in the first set and used an early run to take a 6-2 lead. Another long service run by the Lady Warriors later in the set opened up a 19-12 lead before they preserved the lead and the set.
One second-set adjustment Harrison managed was getting Haskins more involved. She helped the Lady Hoyas build a 13-8 second lead, and she ended up with seven kills for the match — all coming after the first set.
“They went to their big middle (hitter), and Taylor cleaned it up,” North Cobb coach James Auld said.
Andie Karmel led Harrison with 10 kills on the night. Windover contributed with five, and Kelly Scott finished with 25 assists, three kills and a block-assist.
Parrish had 20 assists, three aces and two kills for North Cobb. Savanna Gonzales led the Lady Warriors with 10 kills, while Shauntell Luke finished with six.
After Kennesaw Mountain (13-25, 2-3) struggled against Harrison in its opening match, the Lady Mustangs had a better showing against North Cobb.
Although Kennesaw Mountain for most of the second set, the Lady Mustangs battled until the Lady Warriors pulled away late.
Tyler Cooper led Kennesaw Mountain with five kills against North Cobb, while Mia Griffiths added four kills and Lindsey Nation had three. Setter Sarah Newman finished with 12 assists.