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Blue Devils ready for second round of state
SHS Volleyball
Statesboro High's Hanna Helm nails down another kill against Fayette County during the Blue Devils' first round state playoff victory Saturday. - photo by By SCOTT BRYANT

The Statesboro volleyball team will be looking to build on its most successful season ever as the Lady Blue Devils host the second round of the state Class AAAAA tournament Tuesday. 

The Devils made it this far thanks in part to capturing their first ever region championship a few weeks ago. Winning the region earned the Blue Devils the No. 1 seed and a home playoff game Saturday where they knocked off Fayette County propelling them into the second round.

“We played great Saturday and beat a really good team,” said Statesboro coach Bob Massee. “It shows a lot about our kids heart, and how much work they have put in to get to this level.”

“Our biggest strength has been the play of our middles,” Massee said. “It helps relieve the pressure on our outside hitters. They’ve been changing their angles, they’ve been on time, and then defensively they have been able to challenge themselves as passers, and that’s where we have improved the most.”

Tuesday the Blue Devils will actually watch Veterans and Eagles Landing play in the Blue Devils gym, with Statesboro playing the winner immediately afterward with a spot in the state quarterfinals on the line. 

“We get a chance to watch them and strategize what to do,” Massee said. “It can be helpful, or it could hurt you. One of the other teams could come out hot and have some momentum, or we may be able to find something to attack and benefit from waiting.”

Massee has seen steady improvement since taking over the Statesboro volleyball program five years ago, and feels that having this year’s four seniors since they were in middle school has really helped the teams success.

“We have a couple seniors who could go on to play on the collegiate level,” Massee said. “They have been a joy to watch coming up as middle school kids, and then watching them improve through their high school careers. It’s going to be tough to see them go.”

“It’s so beneficial to have these games taking place on our home court,” Massee said. “The last time we made it to the second round we had to travel, and that can be rough. To have our fans hopefully pack the gym will be great for the girls.”

Veterans and Eagles Landing will get things underway Tuesday afternoon at 4:00. Statesboro will play the winner after the best of three series which should take place at approximately 6 p.m.