Volleyball: High-stake rematches await in area tourneys

The next week will crown this year's area champions and set the seeding for this year's state playoffs. Class AAAAAA area tournaments are underway and Walton will head to Woodstock Thursday night with the rest of Area 5 looking to defend its title. The Raiders are 8-0 in area play this year and will be joined by Woodstock, Lassiter, Pope, Etowah, Roswell, Cherokee, Milton and Wheeler in the battle for five playoff spots. Harrison is unbeaten in Area 4 action and takes the court at Hillgrove on Saturday in the area semifinals after earning a bye.

The Hoyas are one of four teams that will earn a playoff spot out of Area 4 and will be challenged by a surging North Cobb team that fell in three sets to the Hoyas last week (25-23, 19-25, 21-25). North Gwinnett, Brookwood, Lee County and Rockdale County all enter their area tournaments unbeaten in area play.

In Class AAAAA, Sequoyah opened the Area 7 tournament with a (25-7, 25-9) blowout over Kell. The Chiefs improved to 44-7 and face Riverwood on Thursday at River Ridge. Area 7 shapes up to be one of the best tournaments this week as Cambridge (6-0), River Ridge (6-1) and Riverwood (6-1) are all battling for playoff seeding. Dunwoody swept Creekside and Southwest DeKalb to open the Area 6 tournament and improved to 11-0 against area opponents without dropping a single set.

In Class AAAA, Marist and St. Pius X square off Thursday night in the Area 6 tournament. Marist handed the Golden Lions their only area loss of the season on Sept. 30 in an epic (25-19, 34-32) sweep.

In Class AA, the matchup between No. 1 Wesleyan and No. 2 Holy Innocents' will likely decide the Area 4 champion. Wesleyan has topped the Golden Bears twice this season, including a (20-25, 25-23, 25-16) win on Sept. 23.

In Class A, Prince Avenue Christian opens Area 6 action with Providence Christian. Host Athens Academy and Hebron Christian highlight the Area 6 field.