AISA state volleyball championship -- Knights maintain Class AA reign: Macon-East wins third consecutive state championship

AISA state volleyball championship -- Knights maintain Class AA reign: Macon-East wins third consecutive state championship

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AISA state volleyball championship -- Knights maintain Class AA reign: Macon-East wins third consecutive state championship

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The Macon-East volleyball team had a familiar foe in its bid for a third consecutive championship.

Lee-Scott and Macon-East also played in the region championship that was swept by the Knights.

This time, the result was the same.

The Knights defeated the Warriors 25-13, 25-20, 25-22 to complete the three-peat. While fans chanted “Three-Peat!” in the stands, head coach Amanda Smallwood was a bit quieter.

“It just keeps getting better and I don’t know why,” Smallwood said. You would think it would kind of lose its appeal, but this group is just amazing. I can’t say enough about these girls.”

The Knights (28-1) swept Kingwood in the state semifinals while Lee-Scott (20-5) defeated Escambia Academy to set up its third match of the season and second in the last week.

Tournament MVP Lexi Brantley had seven aces, eight digs and five kills for Macon-East.

“It feels amazing,” Brantley said. “It feels better than the first one. The third one is always the hardest and we did it. We played our hearts out.”

Jesi Garrett and Deven Kennedy had 10 kills each. Sami Nesbitt and Anna Marie Pugh combined for 11 kills.

“They are a bunch of athletes, no matter what sport they play,” Smallwood said.

Smallwood said playing the same team the Knights beat in the regional finals doesn’t happen often, but it did help them prepare for the Warriors.

“When they’re on, they are really good,” she said, “We knew what we were up against.”

Lee-Scott pulled the third game to within 23-22 before falling two points later. Just like in the first matchup, the second and third games were tight.

Lauren Williams and Shelby Slocum combined for 22 digs, 14 kills and three blocks.

Macon-East only has two seniors, so the chance for four in a row is there, but Smallwood said she will enjoy this victory.

“It’s an elating feeling,” she said.

Smallwood, in her third year at Macon-East, gave herself an early wedding present. She and Macon-East assistant football coach Peter Baubles are getting married Saturday.

“This is like really special,” Smallwood said. “I get two rings this week.

Her team will be involved in the wedding.

“They’re all in the wedding,” Smallwood said. “They’re going to read a Bible verse, and they’re making their favorite cookies. They can’t call me Coach Baubles because we already have a Coach Baubles. I think they’re going to call me Smallbles.”

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