The Lady Hoyas’ 12th annual Summer Dig will get underway Thursday and play through Saturday before the regular season begins in early August. Harrison’s Area 4AAAAAA rival North Cobb will also host matches.
Several state playoff teams from various classifications will attend, Harrison and North Cobb included. Reigning Class AAAAAA state semifinalist South Forsyth will be there along with Class AAA champion St. Pius X, Eagles Landing Christian, Etowah, Hillgrove, Mount Paran Christian and Bluffton, a volleyball power from South Carolina.
Teams will play best-of-three set matches in a round robin Thursday and Friday format before seedings are determined for Saturday’s bracket based on performance.
“This is usually our first day together on the court,” Harrison coach Clay Taylor said. “This will give us a chance to knock a little rust off before tryouts and help us roll right into the season.”
Both Harrison and North Cobb have made it to at least the state quarterfinals each of the last three years.
The Lady Hoyas were state runner-ups in 2011 and 2012 before falling to South Forsyth in five sets in the quarterfinals last year. The Lady Warriors made back-to-back appearances in the semifinals in 2011 and 2012 before falling to Johns Creek in four sets in the quarterfinal round last year.
Harrison has a shot at its first state title since 2006 with Georgia commitment Caroline Ostman and Butler-bound Kodi Smith coming back. Libero Jocelyn Mahayag is also 100 percent from her ACL injury sustained last year and Harrison also has a strong crop of sophomores led by middle hitter Katie Doering.
North Cobb registered an A team and a B team in the tournament to get a solid look at many of its young players. The Warriors appear to be set at outside hitter with Savanna Gonzalez and Abby Miller coming back, and Taylor Parrish will set for the third straight year.
The Lady Warriors are seeking a new starting libero following the graduation of Tate Pember and looking to replace both middle hitters.
“The returners, I know what they can do, but the new kids, this is a great opportunity to see what they can do against the good teams,” North Cobb coach James Auld said. “We’re not worried so much on wins and losses. We kind of want to see how people play in certain situations and see how it works.”
Lee County A
Lee County B
Mount Paran Christian
North Cobb A
North Cobb B
Prince Avenue Christian
St. Pius X