The Statesboro volleyball team won their opening match in the state playoffs Saturday and were able to host round two Tuesday evening. Unfortunately that is where the Blue Devils state run would end, as despite coming from behind to take the first match 25-20, the Blue Devils dropped the next three matches 25-19, 25-14 and 25-22 in the fourth and decisive match, ending the Blue Devils season.
“As a coach you just don’t expect things to end, especially after the kind of season we have had this year,” said Statesboro coach Bob Massee. “For me as a coach, every practice was fun, as thee girls continued to show their heart, their grit, and their ability to be coachable. It’s hard for me to process right now that the season is over.”
Statesboro trailed for most of the first match, and were down 19-12 before coming all the way back, outscoring the Red Devils 13-1 the rest of the way behind solid play, highlighted by a handful of saves by senior Jordan Palmer, and a few kills by senior Alana McDonald, and juniors Akirah McCrea and Lorin Tidick.
The Red Devils and Blue Dewent back and forth in game two. With the game tied at 19-19 the Red Devils went on a 6-2 run to even things up winning 25-21. Game three was all Red Devils as they won handily 25-14.
Game three was a see saw battle as Statesboro came out hot and took an early lead, only to see Loganville pull back ahead 14-10. The Blue Devils fought back to tie the game at 14-14, only to see Loganville win four straight points for an 18-14 lead. Trailing 21-16, Statesboro came back to tie things up once again, but the Red Devils would eventually go on to win game four 25-22 ending the Blue Devils season.
“When they were up 24-23, I kind of felt like the momentum had shifted in the final game,” Massee said. “I felt like at that time we were on our heels, and I tried to remind myself, if they score here, I may never get to coach some of these kids again.”
Statesboro advanced to the elite eight in 2018, and finished the 2019 season with the best record in school history with a mark of
“A lot of these seniors are like my own kids,” Massee said. “The hardest thing for me is losing seniors, that you have gotten to see grow up as kids. Knowing that I can’t ever coach them again, that’s what I struggle with.”
“They have helped to build a foundation, and Statesboro volleyball is now a team and school that is on the map statewide,” Massee said. “We’ve got some talented underclassmen, and rising seniors, who will have some big shoes to fill with those graduating seniors leaving our program.”