Lady Panthers hold home floor in volleyball marathon

The Carolina Forest volleyball team made itself right at home in its own season-opening tournament on Saturday.

Featuring 15 of the top teams in the state and area, the fourth annual Carolina Forest Invitational saw the host Lady Panthers hold their own on their home floor by placing second in their five-team pool and going on to a sixth-place overall showing.

Carolina Forest defeated Airport 25-17, 25-21 in the first round of elimination play before running into to eventual tournament champion Aiken 25-13, 25-20 in the quarterfinals. Aiken downed Lugoff-Elgin 25-21, 25-22 to capture the title, led by tournament MVP Anna Tovo.

Carolina Forest’s Macey Imming made the all-tournament team, along with local players Shelby Sheets of Myrtle Beach, Marci Chestnut of North Myrtle Beach and Annamarie Guest of Socastee.

Socastee finished second in its pool but lost a hard-fought, first-round matchup to Cardinal Newman, 26-24, 25-23; North Myrtle Beach was third in its pool and won a first-round match over Blythewood 25-23, 25-11 before dropping a 25-17, 25-19 decision to Wando; and Myrtle Beach was fifth in pool play before being eliminated by champion Aiken 25-23, 25-11 in the opener.

The all-day marathon preseason tournament provided local teams with a taste of stiff, statewide competition and a nice tune-up before opening the regular season.

Photo by Joel Beachum

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