Local volleyball teams have big impact in state playoffs

sjvol-huddleThe volleyball nets are usually stored away by this time of year on the Grand Strand, making room for basketball and wrestling practices to take over the courts.

But there’s still a lot of serving, setting and spiking going on at local schools this week, and it’s not just because Hurricane Matthew delayed the season.

The growth of the Grand Strand Juniors club volleyball program and a renewed emphasis on the fall sport at area schools have helped vault local volleyball into state power status.

It seems Grand Strand schools have made some serious gains on the rest of the state in recent years. Last week, the Christian Academy of Myrtle Beach volleyball team played in the SCISA state finals for the third time in five years, and Myrtle Beach and North Myrtle Beach have also played for SCHSL state titles during that span.

The Grand Strand’s climb up the volleyball ranks culminates this season with an unprecedented five of six teams reaching the second round of the SCHSL playoffs.

Top-seeded Carolina Forest and Myrtle Beach will host second round games Tuesday, with the Panthers welcoming James Island and the Seahawks hosting Colleton County.

North Myrtle Beach travels to Hilton Head Island, St. James visits Lugoff-Elgin, and Conway makes its program debut in the second round with a trip to River Bluff.

The winners will play again Thursday for the right to reach the Nov. 8 Lower State final. The Class 4A and 5A state championships will be Nov. 12.

Photo by Prep Stars Media

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