Before the first bell had rung for the new school year, some area high school volleyball programs kicked off over the weekend. Sandy Creek (Region 3-AAAA), Starr's Mill (Region 4-AAAAA), and Whitewater (Region 4-AAAAA) participated in the Sequoyah Classic Volleyball Tournament. At least 32 teams representing AAAAA through A classifications participated at Cobb County high schools to inaugurate the 2012 volleyball season.
Starr's Mill posted wins over Kell (25-16, 29-27), Alpharetta (25-17, 25-20), Roswell (21-25, 25-21, 25-21), and Northgate (25-21, 25-21) before falling to John’s Creek (21-25, 17-25) in gold bracket play. Sandy Creek went 3-2 for the tournament, defeating Oconee County (25-16, 25-18), Mill Creek (25-23, 25-20) and Etowah (23-25, 25-2-, 25-16) while losing to Etowah earlier in the day and then finally falling to 2011 state champion, Pope (25-23, 23-25, 25-27).
Whitewater, who lost to Pope last year in the state finals, won the tournament and exacted revenge by soundly routing Pope. Whitewater went undefeated for the two days, besting Woodstock (25-9, 25-20), Lambert (25-17, 25-19) and Sprayberry (25-4, 25-14) in pool play, before beating South Forsyth (25-18, 25-18) and ultimately Pope (25-17, 25-19) for the Sequoyah Classic Championship title.
Wildcats coach Valerie Jones commented about the weekend, "Great weekend of play. I thought with each match we improved in all aspects of the game. Our senior class (players) were excellent leaders and really did a good job of guiding the newcomers. We have high expectations for this year and are working hard to reach those goals."
Fayette County (Region 3-AAAA) travelled to Locust Grove for its first matches, falling to its host and Northgate. McIntosh (Region 4-AAAAA) began its regular season August 15 at Newnan, beating the host school and Our Lady of Mercy. OLM (Region 3-A) opened their season with a win against Gilmer (25-14, 25-12, 25-20) August 10, before falling to McIntosh in three games.
With tournament wins and additions to the “win” column for most local teams, Fayette County prep volleyball programs overall show promise for State title contention early this season. Each team seems to be off to a great start.