Pope players and coaches celebrate after beating North Atlanta in straight sets to reach the Class AAAAAA state semifinals last season. The Lady Greyhounds are priming themselves for another deep run as the season hits its stretch drive.

With the regular season ending Oct. 7, along with the Cobb County and region tournaments on the horizon, the race to finish atop Region 6AAAAAA is closer than ever.

Defending region champion Pope (23-4, 6-0) is currently sitting at the top. The Lady Greyhounds were tied with Kennesaw Mountain (18-12, 5-1) until they beat the Lady Mustangs 2-1 on Sept. 22, moving them to the No. 3 seed. Lassiter (13-7, 6-1) is the No. 2 seed, and Kell (15-13, 2-2) is No. 4.

Oct. 6 will be a big day in the region. Kennesaw Mountain travels to Lassiter, which will likely decide the No. 2 and 3 spots in the region, and Kell plays Allatoona (18-9, 3-3), who is currently fifth and will be fighting for the fourth seed.

Kennesaw Mountain coach Jessica Feder said she believes if her team plays well, it can come out on top against Lassiter, and she is hoping for a top seed following the region tournament.

“We’ve had four players out due to either injuries or other circumstances, so when we played Pope we were down four players and we took it to three (sets), so once region play starts we are expecting a win from that,” she said. “We have yet to play Lassiter and we are also (hoping) to pull a ‘W’ from that.”

In Region 3AAAAAAA, Walton (19-6, 5-0) is currently the No. 1 seed. After defeating Hillgrove 3-0 on Sept. 21, North Cobb moved up to the No. 2 seed, and the Lady Hawks are No. 3. Harrison (11-8, 2-3) is fourth, after finishing the regular season Sept. 24.

“The seeding should be set,” North Cobb coach Stephen Sansing said. “Walton is No. 1, we are No. 2, Hillgrove is No. 3 and Harrison is No. 4.

“The season has been good, especially in the region. I think there have been some good, close matches.”

The Region 3AAAAAAA tournament is Oct. 12 through Oct. 14 at Walton, and it will determine the seeding going into playoffs.

“Right now, the good thing is, us and Walton finished 1 and 2 in the region, so we actually get a bye, so we are already locked into one of those top four seeds,” Sansing said. “It just comes down to playing for seeding. The other four teams will play (Oct. 12), and those two winners will be in the top four with us. We will then play (Oct. 13 and Oct. 14) to figure out who is 1, 2, 3 and 4.”

Mount Paran Christian (20-5, 1-0), the Walker School (13-12, 3-0) and North Cobb Christian (15-9, 1-1) are all fighting Region 7A Private bragging rights. Currently, the Lady Eagles are the No. 1 seed and the Lady Wolverines, with their 3-0 win over North Cobb Christian last week, were able to secure the second seed, while the Lady Eagles are the third seed.

“We played North Cobb Christian last week, it was a very tough match, they are a great team,” Walker coach Ryan Standler said. “We were able to pull out two pretty huge comebacks during the match.

“They are a really strong team, and anything can happen as we get into the region tournament.”

Going into the last two weeks of regular season play, Walker and North Cobb Christian will have the chance to get the No. 1 seed away from Mount Paran as it faces the Lady Wolverines on Sept. 30 and the Lady Eagles Oct. 5.

“Now we are focused on Mount Paran, and no matter what, that is always a big game for us,” Standler said. “Anytime we play Mount Paran it is a big match so we are really training for that.”

North Cobb Christian coach Sara Mitchell said that she thinks it will be a toss up as to which teams comes out on top after the region tournament, but that it will be up to whoever wants it more.

“Our region is really competitive,” she said. “Unfortunately this last week we played Walker and lost. So playing Mount Paran is pretty important, and beating them would be great as any team would say, (because) beating anybody is great. But it all comes down to the region tournament and how you finish. Last season, (it was) a completely different team as this year, but we lost to Mount Paran in regular season play but beat them in the region tournament.

“It is going to be interesting, so we will see.”


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