111820_MNS_West_girls_VB_001 Westminster team action

Members of Westminster’s volleyball team jump for joy after clinching the 2020 Class AAA state championship at the Lakepoint Sports Complex in Cartersville Nov. 7.

It was another year, another state volleyball championship for Westminster in 2020.

The Wildcats added to their already impressive resume last year with a Class AAA title, defeating Morgan County 3-0 in the finals last November to claim their eighth state crown and their first since 2016.

Now, Westminster is gearing up for another title run as it gets the 2021 season underway.

Coach Cat Monroe’s Wildcats appear to have picked up where they left off from last season’s championship so far, compiling a 5-2 record against some of the best teams in the state.

So far, Westminster has two wins over defending AA/A Public champion and local rival Pace Academy as well as last year’s AAAA title holder Marist and the team it beat for the AAA crown in 2020, Morgan County.

The Wildcats’ record also includes a loss to Walton, the AAAAAAA runner-up a year ago and a state champion nine of the last 11 years.

Westminster looks to continue its nearly three-decade tradition of excellence, with includes 20 state finals appearances in the 28 years of GHSA Volleyball.

The Wildcats have made it to the state finals the last nine years in a row, defeating Pace Academy for the AAA championship in 2016 before losing to the Knights in the state finals the next three consecutive seasons after that.

While Westminster loss three key senior starters from last season’s state title team – outside hitter Mary Emily Morgan, setter Chloe Emch and right side Elena Karas – the Wildcats do return senior outside hitter Ashley Vincent, who averaged 4.3 kills per set and had a .437 hitting percentage as a junior in 2020.

Vincent leads a senior class that includes defensive specialists/liberos Anna Chen and Caroline Dickey, defensive specialist Caroline Buhay, outside hitters Brittany Zwerner and Kasey Newkirk as well as Kathleen Hanratty and Ruth Hay.

Westminster will host a tri-match Sept. 2 with Alpharetta (at 5 p.m.) and McIntosh (7 p.m.) and then will stay home next Sept. 7 to face local rival North Atlanta (5 p.m.) and Newton (7 p.m.)

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