The Gillom Athletics Performance Center on the campus of Ole Miss in Oxford wasn’t kind to the Mississippi Gulf Coast Thursday afternoon.
In the first two matches of the Mississippi High School Activities Association, a pair of squads in the “Southern Six” were swept in their quests to win state championships. Less than two hours after East Central was swept 3-0 by Lafayette in Class 5A play, defending state champion Lake Cormorant secured back-to-back Class 6A crowns by dispatching Hancock in three sets 25-18,25-19 and 25-22..
The Lady Gators finish up the season at 31-9 overall, while the Lady Hawks come up just short in their quest for the first state title since 2016 and finish up the year at 34-9. It was Lake Cormorant’s third state title in the past four seasons as well as its fifth crown in the past 11 years as the Lady Gators also went back-to-back in 2012-2013.
The title is the sixth state crown overall in Lake Cormorant history, which just became a school in 2009.
The Lady Gators jumped out to a quick 6-1 lead in the first set behind Class 6A Miss Volleyball Sophia Gonzalez and were really never threatened, surging out to 15-12 advantage and then 24-18 before an Arriana Woods kill for LCHS finished off the opening set at 25-18.
Thanks to some key points by Hancock’s Lane Wedgeworth, the Lady Hawks hung tough in the second set and an ace by Anslee James of HHS tied things up at 10-10 mid-way through the session.
Lake Cormorant got some key plays from Jania Rose down the stretch, however, and raced to a 19-12 lead thanks to a 9-2 run and went on to take the set 25-19.
It appeared as if Hancock would extend the match in the third set, as Anslee James recorded a key ace and Cambria Necaise had a kill and the Lady Hawks eased out to a 16-12 lead.
But, the Lady Gators had other ideas and produced a 13-6 run to finish off the match and secure the title.
Gonzalez was named the Most Valuable Player of the match,
MHSAA VOLLEYBALL STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS
At Ole Miss Gillom Athletics Performance Center, Oxford
1 p.m. — Lafayette swept East Central 3-0
3 p.m. — Lake Cormorant beat Hancock ===
5 p.m. — Brandon vs. Lewisburg
1 p.m. — Noxapater vs. Pine Grove
3 p.m. — St. Andrew’s vs. Ingomar
5 p.m. — OLA vs. Alcorn Central
7 p.m. — Purvis vs. Newton County