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NEWSOME TO FACE UNBEATEN BRANDON

Homefield advantage wasn't enough for Armwood in the Class 5A, District 8 semifinals, as the Hawks fell to Newsome 25-21, 25-23, 19-25, 25-18 Wednesday.

The Wolves (10-2,5-2) jumped out to a two-game lead, something Newsome coach Shelby Jordan said was important for her team.

"It would have been tough to lose the first set and have to get over that hump on the road," Jordan said.

Newsome senior Hillary Byrd had six kills in the match, three in the first game.

"Seeing Armwood try to come back was intimidating, but we held our own," Byrd said.

The Hawks (10-4, 5-2) had defeated Newsome in a regular-season match at home in five games on Oct. 14, but they couldn't repeat that performance.

Brandon's 25-19, 25-27 25-13, 25-10 victory over Wharton was hard fought, as the Wildcats (4-4, 2-1) came back from an 18-9 deficit to take the second game.

"If I could choose, I would want us to play Newsome in the championship game," said Brandon senior Lindsay Watson, who got her wish. "Armwood took us to five sets in last year's championship game, and we don't want to take that risk this year. We want to win in three."

The Eagles (12-0, 7-0) would take whatever momentum Wharton had from that Game 2 comeback by pulling away in the last two games.

"You never know what you are going to get in an emotional match like this," Eagles coach Amy Watson said. "I'm glad things went our way."

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