School is finally back in session which also brings the start of a new season for local DeKalb programs in prep volleyball.
Marist was a postseason squad in 2016, winning 22 contests and reaching the second round of the Class AAAA playoffs. The War Eagles finished second in Area 7AAAA last year led by senior outside Krista McNamara who had a team-high 239 kills. Senior right side Hannah Marier notched a team-high 37 blocks and 235 kills while senior outside hitter Cameron Dames had 201 kills. Senior defensive specialist Mia Stander had a team-high 68 aces and 444 digs. Marist opens the season hosting a play date on August 9 against Holy Innocents and Pace Academy.
St. Pius X was also in the playoffs in 2016, winning 35 contests, the Region 8AAAA title and reached the state semifinals in the postseason. The Golden Lions return senior outside hitter Reagan Trivette who had 161 kills and a team-high 395 digs while senior right side Kelly Long notched 123 kills. Senior setter Alexis Scoggins had a team-high 543 assists and 56 aces last season. St. Pius X will be in a play date hosted by Wesleyan along with North Cobb, North Gwinnett and Dunwoody on August 12.
Arabia Mountain won 22 matches last season and placed second in Area 5AAAAA, qualifying the Rams for the Class AAAAA state playoffs. Potential top returners include juniors Deja McLeod who had 46 aces and Ifeoma Foreman with 75 kills last season. Arabia hosts Heritage on August 31.
Cedar Grove looks to rebound from a three-win campaign last season and will face Westminster on September 5.
Chamblee had one of its best seasons in program history in 2016. The Bulldogs won 38 matches, finished undefeated in Area 5AAAAA play and advanced to the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAA playoffs. Potential returners include junior hitter Camille Van Leer who had a team-high 48 blocks and 138 kills last season along with senior setter Rachel Loftus with a team-high 137 aces. Junior Kennedy Preval notched a team-high 175 digs in 2016. Chamblee hosts a play date on August 11 which includes Lakeside, Lithonia and Redan.
Cross Keys won 12 contests last season and will host Clarkston on August 17.
Decatur reached the second round of the Class AAAAA playoffs last season. The Bulldogs earned 30 wins and placed second in Area 6AAAAA, defeating Eagle’s Landing High School in the first round of the postseason. Decatur hosts Union Grove and Dutchtown in a play date on August 10.
Druid Hills won 14 matches last season and will host a play date on August 10 that will include McNair and Salem.
Dunwoody reached the quarterfinals of the Class AAAAAA playoffs in 2016, finishing its campaign with 32 wins. The Wildcats were the second seed out of Area 7AAAAAA and defeated Lovejoy and Effingham County in the postseason. Potential top returnees include sophomore Nicole Callahan who had 52 aces and junior Amanda Gild who had 343 kills and a team-high 247 digs. Dunwoody will participate in a play date hosted by Wesleyan on August 12.
Lakeside earned 21 wins last season and qualified for the Class AAAAAAA state playoffs. The Vikings, who placed fourth in Area 7AAAAAAA in 2016, welcome back Gabby Morse who had a team-high 302 kills last season. Junior Gabby Goselin had 364 digs last season and returns along with junior Sairah Hyman who had 196 kills and 88 aces. Junior Mackenzi Thomas’ 39 blocks led the team last season. Lakeside will face Chamblee and Redan at a play date on August 11.
Lithonia won 12 matches last season and earned a spot in the Class AAAAA state playoffs as the fourth seed out of Area 5AAAAA. The Lions will be at the Chamblee play date on August 11.
Miller Grove was also postseason bound in 2016, earning the fifth seed out of Area 5AAAAA to qualify for the Class AAAAA playoffs. The Wolverines won 13 contests and were led offensively by seniors Taelur Theodore who had a team-high 127 aces and Dejah Turner who topped the team in blocks (81) and kills (124) in addition to contributing 103 aces. Junior Maya Rembert’s 302 digs were a team-high. Miller Grove hosts its play date on August 10 with invitees Columbia and Discovery.
Paideia hosts King’s Ridge on August 10.
Redan won 29 matches last season and advanced to the second round of the Class AAA playoffs. The Raiders placed second in Area 5AAA and defeated Savannah in the first round of the playoffs. Redan returns senior Gerika Moon who had a team-high 155 digs and 65 aces. Senior Jalene Wright had 78 aces last season as well. Redan will be at the Chamblee play date on August 11.
Southwest DeKalb won 15 matches in 2016 and qualified for the Class AAAAA playoffs as the third seed out of Area 5AAAAA. Senior Anaya Whitaker had a team-high 99 kills and 57 aces last season and returns for 2017 along with sophomore Chayce Sanders who had 23 aces. SW DeKalb will be at the Chamblee play date on August 11.
Stephenson looks to rebound from an eight-win campaign in 2016. The Jaguars will be at a play date on August 10 hosted by Stone Mountain.
Stone Mountain won 17 matches last season and was in the Class AAA playoffs as the third seed out of Area 5AAA.The Pirates return senior Shameka Harris who had a team-high 61 kills along with 71 aces. Senior Jasmine Voorhis notched a team-high 76 aces in addition to 87 assists and 74 digs. Stone Mountain hosts its play date on August 10.
Tucker had a 14-win campaign in 2016 and will be at the Chamblee play date on August 11.
Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy (ELCA) reached the second round of the Class A Private state playoffs last season, ending its campaign with 23 wins and a first-round postseason home win over George Walton. The Chargers, who placed second in Area 2A, look to return outside hitter/middle hitter Brittany Major who had a team-high 320 kills and 62 aces last season. Other potential returnees are outside hitter Dia Barnett, setter/right-side hitter Samantha Mitchell and freshman Madison Watts who had a team-high 410 assists. ELCA will participate in a playmate on August 12 hosted by Luella which will also include Ola, Shaw and Fayette County HS.