Leading hitter Caroline Ostman and middle blocker Emily Hegstetter have been out with ankle injuries since late September, but their status for this weekend’s Area 3AAAAAA tournament this week at North Cobb is still uncertain.
While Harrison would prefer both players healthy, the Lady Hoyas are prepared to go without them.
“I guess you can say they will be game day decisions,” Harrison coach Clay Taylor said. “The kids realized early when we had a couple of injuries that we had to pick up our game a little bit.”
The Lady Hoyas made it through area competition undefeated without their injured starters, highlighted by a close three-setter over North Cobb, which ended up the No. 2 seed. Taylor Gaskins and Andie Karmel have provided the bulk of Harrison’s offense in absence of Hegstetter and Ostman.
The Lady Hoyas will open Thursday against Campbell or South Cobb and will face the winner between No. 4 seed McEachern and No. 5 Kennesaw Mountain in the next round if they advance.
North Cobb finished strong in 3AAAAAA play after its loss to Harrison with libero Tate Pember surpassing her 1,000th career dig and sophomore Savanna Gonzales going strong on the outside.
If the Warriors get by Pebblebrook in their opening round, they would likely face No. 3 Hillgrove.
Two-time defending state champion Walton is favored to win its Area 4AAAAAA tournament that will take place Thursday and Saturday at Woodstock and Etowah with finals taking place at Milton.
The Lady Raiders could potentially run into trouble with Woodstock playing well down the stretch. The Lady Wolverines have made strides since Walton beat them in straight sets in early September, having won 18 of their last 20 matches and going undefeated in the Cherokee County playdate.
As of late September, freshman Celeste Fitzgerald stepped up as fulltime setter for Walton after sharing duties with last year’s setter Tori Ferguson with Ferguson switching her role to libero.
With area competition wrapping up today in 4AAAAAA, seedings haven’t been finalized. If Walton wins its matches convincingly, there could potentially be a battle for the other four playoff spots out of the area among Woodstock, Etowah, Lassiter, Roswell and Milton.
Three-time defending state champion Pope has a great shot at winning another area title in 7AAAAA, even though Northview will likely be the top seed.
Both schools will host the tournament Thursday with Northview hosting all of Saturday’s matches.
Area 7AAAAA is also finishing up play today before final seedings are determined. Both Northview and Pope have one area loss, but Northview beating Pope last Tuesday could give the Lady Titans the edge.
While the Lady Greyhounds aren’t as dominant as they’ve been the last three seasons after graduating six Division I players last season, they’re still a threat to win and go deep into the Class AAAAA state tournament.
Allatoona and South Carolina-commitment Dessa Lagros will vie for their straight area title in 5AAAAA.
In Area 4A, it’s Walker’s to lose. The Lady Wolverines have flourished in area play with sisters Paige and Brooke Warner leading the way.
Walker is the top seed in the double elimination bracket and will start play today at home.
North Cobb Christian is the second seed, Mount Paran Christian is No. 4 and Whitefield Academy is No. 6. The Lady Wolverines are projected to face No. 4 Mount Paran in the winner’s bracket semifinals.