With the calendar hitting late October, local schools are wrapping up their regular seasons and region or area tournaments in cross country, fast-pitch softball and volleyball and dreaming of state titles if they advanced to the Georgia High School Association (GHSA) state playoffs.
In softball, the GHSA is mandating all schools to end their region tournaments by Oct. 16, and the first round of the state playoffs will be held Oct. 19 through 21. The second round is Oct. 22 through 24, the quarterfinals Oct. 27 and 28 and the semifinals and finals (in Columbus) Oct. 30 and 31.
In volleyball, the GHSA is requiring all schools to end their area/region tournaments/determine a champion by Oct. 17, and the first round of the state tournament runs Oct. 20 and 21. The second round is Oct. 24, the quarterfinals Oct. 27 and 28, the semifinals Oct. 31 and the finals Nov. 7.
In cross country, the GHSA is requiring all schools to finish their region or area meets by Oct. 31, and the state meet will take place Nov. 6 and 7 at Carrollton High School.
As of Oct. 14, 16 local cross country teams are ranked in the top 10 in the MileSplit.com ratings: boys – North Atlanta (third in 6A), St. Pius X (first in 5A), Marist (first in 4A), Westminster (first in 3A), Pace (first in 2A), Lovett (second in 2A), Wesleyan (first in A Private), Holy Innocents’ (second in A Private) and Whitefield (third in A Private); girls – Riverwood (second in 6A), St. Pius X (second in 5A), Westminster (first in 3A), Pace (first in 2A), Lovett (third in 2A), Holy Innocents’ (second in A Private) and Wesleyan (fourth in A Private). The 4A girls’ rankings were not available.
Five local teams are ranked in the top 15 in ratings posted to MaxPreps.com: Woodward (15th in 5A), Marist (13th in 4A), Lovett (third in 2A), Pace (14th in 2A) and Mount Vernon (seventh in A).
Eight local volleyball teams are ranked in the top 15 in ratings posted to MaxPreps.com: Riverwood (fifth in 6A), St. Pius X (second in 5A), Marist (third in 4A), Westminster (first in 3A), Pace (second in 1A/2A), Lovett (third in 1A/2A), Holy Innocents’ (first in 1A Private) and Wesleyan (10th in 1A Private).
In softball, Lovett clinched the Region 6AA title last week, making 2020 its fourth straight year of winning a region crown.
Wesleyan (14-10) finished second in Area 4A Private and has advanced to the state tourney.
“We have had a good, tough season,” Wolves coach Mary Stephenson said. “We’ve had some difficult injuries to key players that we have had to work through that coincided with the toughest stretch in our schedule. We are excited to try to make a run in the state tournament.”
Riverwood (4-11) is in a rebuilding year in a tough region and had its streak of four straight playoff appearances snapped, said coach Julian James. The Raiders had nine freshman, eight sophomores, three juniors and two seniors.
As of Oct. 14, Mount Vernon (15-4) was tied with Mount Paran for first in Area 3-A Private, and both teams will advance to the state tourney. The area champ will be determined by how both squads finish the regular season in area games and could be determined by a tiebreaker if they both have identical area records, Mustangs coach Mike Edmonson said.
In volleyball, Riverwood was 10-2 entering its region tournament, and Lovett was 16-10. Marist (13-8) played in the Area 6-4A Tournament championship match Oct. 15 against Druid Hills (results were not available at the Neighbor’s deadline). The War Eagles will be the No. 1 or 2 seed out of the area.
“We have played a tough schedule this season,” Marist coach Leah Longoria said. “Six of our eight losses come from teams who are ranked in the top 15 in the state out of all classifications. By playing such high-caliber teams all season, we have learned how to fight for points, accentuate our strengths and hide our weaknesses. We are excited about bringing this high level of play to the state tournament!”
In the GISA, the volleyball state tournament was held Oct. 9 and 10. In Class 3A, Atlanta Girls’ School fell to eventual state champ Valwood in the first round.
The cross country region meets must be completed by Oct. 31, and the state meet will take place Nov. 7 at Middle Georgia State University in Macon. The softball state playoffs’ quarterfinals were Oct. 10 and 12, the semifinals will be held Oct. 17 and 19 and the finals are set for Oct. 22 and 24.
Results of all games and matches played Oct. 14 or later were not available at the Neighbor's deadline.