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SHS, SEB invading state volleyball playoffs

SHS, SEB invading state volleyball playoffs

SHS, SEB invading state volleyball playoffs

    It hasn’t taken much time at all for a pair of Bulloch County schools to crash the state volleyball party.
    Statesboro High started up its program in 2011 and made the Class AAAA state tournament last season. The Lady Blue Devils are in the playoffs again this year and advanced to the second round with a win over Cedartown last week.
    Just down the road in Brooklet, Southeast Bulloch is putting on an equally impressive show.
    The Lady Yellow Jackets took to the volleyball court for the first time in school history in August. The start-up program has had it’s share of bumps while getting things going, but grabbed the final state playoff spot in its area before stunning top-seeded Henry County in its first round match last week.
    Tonight, both squads hit the road to play for a spot in the Elite Eight.
    Statesboro travels to Loganville for a showdown with No. 1 seed Walnut Grove while SEB has an equally lengthy road trip ahead as it travels to Buford.
    Compared to the fresh faces at Southeast Bulloch, the Devils are virtual grizzled veterans. Statesboro nearly pulled an upset against a top seeded team in last year’s playoffs. Now they have a chance to take the next step.
    “Win or lose, I truly believe that this team has the talent of an Elite Eight team,” SHS coach Bob Massee said. “From what I’ve heard and seen, I know that Walnut Grove is a controlled and consistent team They’re definitely going to be tough, but I think that if we play our game, we’ll compete.”
    Massee added his belief that his squad matches up well against the Warriors. Walnut Grove features a solid back line that can keep the ball alive, but Statesboro boasts an imposing set of middle and outside hitters who have put up consistent stats throughout the season.
    Most importantly, the experience of the Devils – who return all but one player from last season’s squad — will keep the gravity of the moment from getting to them. Statesboro has peaked at the right time, and no one is ready for the ride to be over just quite yet.
    “Last season, I saw a team that was really nerve-wracked when we got to the playoffs,” Massee said. “We sort of lost that match during the warm-up. I don’t think that will be the case. We played great last week. We’ve got a long ride and a tough opponent, but we’ve also had a great week of practice and I’m expecting us to play well.”
    Winners of both matches will advance to the state quarterfinals. The final three rounds for all classifications will be played at Marietta High School in metro Atlanta Nov. 1 and 2.

    Mike Anthony may be reached at (912) 489-9404.

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