With the county volleyball championship taking place this weekend and region tournaments beginning next week, several Cherokee County teams have their eyes set on deep postseason runs.

Sequoyah (22-2, 7-0), the 2019 Class AAAAAA state runner-up, enters the county tournament ranked No. 3 in the state and looks to be in a position to again challenge for a state title. The Lady Chiefs’ two losses came at the hands of Class AAAAAA No. 2 Pope and Class AAAAA No. 2 St. Pius X.

Senior Paige Powers leads the Lady Chiefs with 209 kills, with sophomores Sara Siefert (149) and Sydney Huyck (133) closely behind. Powers leads the team with six solo blocks, while Catherine Brumbloe leads the team with 26 total blocks.

A pair of sophomores who earned all-county honors last season continue to perform at a high level. Taylor Pecht leads Sequoyah with 47 aces and 503 assists, while Skylar Martin leads the team with 205 digs.

River Ridge (15-8, 5-2) entered the final week of the regular season ranked No. 6 in Class AAAAAA and placing second in the region behind Sequoyah. Senior setter Gabbi Phillips is nearing her 2,000th career assist, while senior libero Legacy Guider is coming up upon her 1,500th career dig. Both are committed to play collegiately at Oglethorpe.

River Ridge advanced to the state quarterfinals last season and should feel good about its chances again this fall. Lady Knights coach Julie Wilt-Winfield said senior middle hitter Chioma Uwaomah has also been “a major threat on the front row,” along with sophomore Isabela Almeida. Junior defensive specialist Tegan James has been equally integral in the passing game.

Cherokee (16-8, 3-2) finished third in the Region 5AAAAAAA regular-season standings.

Junior outside hitter Faith Breitbarth and freshman outside hitter Brin Chestnut each earned first team all-region honors, while senior libero Sophia George and freshman outside hitter Sophie Lyen earned second-team all-region honors. Coach Jamie Horton also credited freshman Jensyn Wiederhold for the team’s success.

Earlier this season, Cherokee beat Etowah for the first time in program history, and the Lady Warriors could see another first this week. A win over Woodstock on Tuesday in the region tournament would advance them to the state playoffs for the first time in team history.

Etowah advanced to the state semifinals last season and is under the direction of first-year coach Bryan Jones, who came to the Lady Eagles after winning three state titles and more than 500 matches at Pope.

The Lady Eagles (5-10, 1-4) missed several weeks of the season due to COVID-19 cancellations, but talent remains on their roster.

Sophomore outside hitter Sydney Bray leads Etowah with 171 kills and 26 blocks, while adding 198 assists and 132 digs. Senior outside hitter Teagan Bardon-Street is second on the team with 130 kills, while senior setter Olivia Tafoya leads the team with 217 assists. Sophomore libero Allie Sierra leads Etowah with 205 digs.

Creekview (14-14, 2-4) enters the county and region tournaments sitting sixth in the eight-team Region 7AAAAAA.

A group of juniors have led Creekview this fall. Ellie Johnson (253) and Morgan McClure (205) lead the way in kills, while Johnson leads the team with 35 aces. McClure’s 47 blocks lead Creekview by a wide margin, while Sophia Del Valle leads the team with 245 digs. Mackenzie Salas has a county-best 505 assists.

Woodstock (3-12, 0-5) has won twice in its final six matches heading in the country tournament and played Etowah to five sets in the final week of September.

Woodstock coach Kelly Audia said seniors Brook Loan, Neva Clark, McKenzie Lamberg and Lauren Desanctis have provided strong senior leadership for the Lady Wolverines this fall during the growth and development of the younger teams. Clark leads the team in aces and digs, while Loan leads the team with 3.5 kills per set.

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