This year’s edition is proving to be no different as Lovett once again plays host to a number of volleyball powerhouses Friday and Saturday.
Defending Class AA state champion Lovett will be joined in a formidable field by local rivals Westminster (AA runner-up), Holy Innocents’, Marist (AAAA semifinalist) and St. Pius X (AAA runner-up) in the 24-team field, which includes defending Class A state champion Landmark Christian, last year’s AAAAAA runner-up Harrison and AAAAAA semifinalist North Cobb.
The 24 teams will play each other Friday in opening matches that will determine seedings for pool play, which will be held Friday and Saturday.
The tournament will move on to single-elimination play Saturday, with the top 12 teams advancing to the gold bracket and the rest to play in the silver bracket.
Lovett is ready to face more stiff competition in its tournament after a challenging early season schedule that included a win over Landmark and a loss to Harrison.
Westminster is off to a strong start as it looks to unseat archrival Lovett as AA state champions.
“It’s a great tournament and you get to see a variety of teams in state and out of state,” Wildcats coach Jona Braden said. “You’re going to play solid competition all the way through and possibly play teams you don’t have on your schedule.”
Holy Innocents’ is seeking a strong early season challenge in the tournament as it looks ahead to its Area 5A schedule, said coach Taylor Noland.
“We get excited every year about the Lovett Block Party,” Noland said. “There’s always great competition and it’s the last play day for our season. It’s mentally challenging to play four or five matches — possibly more — in such a short period of time. I’d like to think this will prepare us for our upcoming area matches and give us a chance to compete with higher classification schools.”