It's become a Whale Branch volleyball tradition -- but not one the Warriors want to keep.
For the third straight season, Johnsonville knocked Whale Branch from the Class 1-A volleyball playoffs, winning 3-1 (25-17, 21-25, 25-17, 25-22) in their second-round match on Wednesday night in Johnsonville.
The Flashes knocked the Warriors out in their inaugural season in 2010 and then again last season.
"I think what happened mostly is the girls got off of their game," Whale Branch coach Audrey Rhode said during the Warriors' bus ride home. "It was one of those tough matches where one minute they're on their game, and then the next, they're off. But overall, I am proud of the girls and what they did this year."
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Rhode said the eighth-ranked Warriors were not overmatched by the sixth-ranked Flashes.
"To me, it was an even matchup for us. They just came out on top," Rhode said. "... As a team, they played well tonight."
Whale Branch finishes the season 22-7.
MIDDLE SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL
Hilton Head Middle 2, Beaufort Middle 1: Hilton Head defeated Beaufort 25-13, 14-25, 26-24 to win the Beaufort County championship.
St. Francis 2, Sea Pines Montessori 0 (25-11, 25-14)