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Blue Devils charge into postseason
SHS Volleyball
Statesboro High's Madison Lee keeps the ball in play against Savannah Country Day during a Thursday, Sept. 30 match in Statesboro. The Lady Blue Devils are set to host Lovejoy in the first round of the Class AAAAAA state playoffs after winning their region. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT

The Statesboro volleyball team has had an impressive season where they have compiled a 25-11 record and capped off a perfect 6-0 region regular season by sweeping Effingham County and Richmond Hill in winning the region title this weekend in Springfield. 


“As long as I have been coaching that may have been the best, we have looked over the weekend,” said Statesboro coach Bob Massee. “We looked like an Elite-8 team out there. We were into the game and focused and were in rhythm. Our offense and defense came together, and it was fun to watch.” 


Massee has said the Blue Devils biggest strength is the leadership they have from having seven seniors and the fact that they are coachable and do the little things that mean the difference in a win or a loss. 


“Their technique and mindset are what sets these girl’s apart,” said Massee. “The biggest thing I have noticed from this year’s group is when they do make mistakes in a game, they learn from it, and they don’t let in linger. Instead of giving up a run of six to eight points they can usually limit it to just two or three points in a row and they bounce right back. They have learned that volleyball is a game of momentum and the quicker you can stop another team and turn it back to yourself the more successful you will be.” 


With the No. 1 seed the Blue Devils get to play at home this week as they will open the state against No. 4 seeded Lovejoy who come in after playing only 10 games all year with a record of 4-6.  


“I have heard they are very athletic and have a lot of talent,” said Massee. “Their record may not be impressive, but they are in the Atlanta area with a lot of really good volleyball teams. We don’t expect them to be your average four seed you can just walk right over.” 


The Blue Devils have three region titles and have advanced to the state playoffs in nine of Massee’s eleven seasons. The furthest they have gone is the Elite-8 in 2018. Massee is hoping this year’s group can keep their pre-season goal and get back to the Elite-8 this season. 


“We started the season with a goal of winning the region,” said Massee. “The next goal on the table was making it to the Elite-8 and I think that is something this group can achieve. We have to first take care of Lovejoy on Wednesday, but it is good to have goals out there and try and achieve them. 


Statesboro and Lovejoy with play a best three out of five series starting Wednesday at 5:00.