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Volleyball teams prepare for area tournaments
by Greg Oshust
October 01, 2012 06:28 PM | 2619 views | 0 0 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Staff / Nathan Self<br>
Westminster’s Margaret Strickland dives in for a return against Paideia as her teammate, Ellie Hogan, looks on.
Staff / Nathan Self
Westminster’s Margaret Strickland dives in for a return against Paideia as her teammate, Ellie Hogan, looks on.
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With the regular season now winding down, local volleyball teams are now getting ready to earn state berths at next week’s area tournaments.

The top four finishers in each area tournament will qualify for the state tournament, which begins the following week with first-round matches Oct. 17 and 18.

Riverwood and North Springs will play in the area 7AAAAA tournament, which will be held next Thursday and Saturday and will be hosted by the top two seeds. Pope and Northview were first and second in the area going into the week.Riverwood (9-10, 4-2) was tied for third place with Creekview and Kell at the end of last week, while North Springs (11-6, 5-3) was in sixth.North Atlanta will take part in the area 6AAAAA tournament, which is next Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday.First-round matches will be held at Dunwoody, with the remaining rounds to be played at Tucker.

North Atlanta (16-9, 7-4) appears to have the third seed in the tournament locked up, with the Lady Warriors behind first-place Lakeside-DeKalb and second-place Dunwoody in the standings at the end of last week.

Westminster and Lovett have already earned state tournament berths as area 4AA has no tournament, instead relying on a round-robin regular-season format to determine their state seeding.Westminster (18-7, 4-0), the second-ranked team in Class AA in the latest PrepCountry.com/GACA state poll, was sitting at the top spot in 4AA at the beginning of the week.

The focus for Westminster coach Jona Braden and her Lady Wildcats is on finishing up the regular season in strong fashion.

“Actually, we focus on the next match,” Braden said. “So, from our perspective, it is about getting ready for the next opponent, which requires that we manage our growth and improvement from the mindset that we take care of our side of the net while making adjustments in order to counter what the opposing side of the net is executing. Our team steps into the gym with the intention of growing mentally, emotionally, physically and spirtually every day.”

Lovett (15-9, 3-1), ranked fourth in AA, was second behind its archrival and appears to be a strong bet to claim at least the second seed in 4AA.

The 4AA title will be on the line when Lovett hosts Westminster on Tuesday.

Atlanta International, Holy Innocents, Pace, Mt. Vernon and Galloway will participate in the area 5A tournament on Tuesday and Thursday.

The top two seeds will host the first two rounds of the tournament on Tuesday, with Holy Innocents’ taking over the hosting duties for the semifinals and finals Thursday.St. Francis, Fellowship Christian and Mount Pisgah Christian are among the other teams in the tournament.

Atlanta International (21-6, 6-0), the eighth-ranked team in Class A, was in first place at the start of the week, while Fellowship Christian (15-8, 5-1) and 10th-ranked Holy Innocents’ (11-16, 5-1) were tied for second.With AIS’ position atop 5A and its No. 8 ranking in Class A, Lady Eagle coach Gregg Albright likes where his team is.

“We’ve had a good run,” Albright said. “The girls have played really well. It’s so far, so good.”

Pace (5-19, 2-4) is tied for sixth with Mount Pisgah Christian (6-14-2, 2-4), while St. Francis (0-12), Mt. Vernon (0-9, 0-3) and Galloway (6-15-2, 0-4) are battling for the eighth spot in the 10-team area.Marist (15-9, 3-0), the second-ranked team in AAAA, will host the area 5AAAA tournament next week.

Blessed Trinity (36-1, 6-0), the top-ranked team in AAA, and third-ranked St. Pius X (32-13-1, 6-0) were battling for the top spot in area 5AAA at the beginning of the week and will host the first two rounds of the area’s tournament next Tuesday. The remaining rounds take place next Thursday at Buford.

Woodward (33-8, 6-0), the second-ranked team in AAA, has clinched the top seed in the area 2AAA tournament, which the Lady War Eagles will host next Thursday and Saturday.Whitefield Academy (15-14-2, 2-4) is in fifth place going into the area 4A tournament Tuesday and Thursday at the Darlington School in Rome.
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