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Sunday March 7th, 2021 10:55PM

Volleyball: State tournament opens with 11 area teams

By Jeff Hart Sports Reporter

The 2020 state volleyball playoffs get under way Tuesday around the state and 11 northeast Georgia area teams advanced at their shot at state titles.

Each round of the playoffs will be a best-of-5 format at the site of the higher seeded team.

Four area teams -- Buford from Region 8-6A, Jefferson from Region 8-4A, Lumpkin County from Region 7-3A, and Union County from Region 8-2A -- all take No. 1 seeds into the tournament by virtue of winning their region tournaments.

Several teams are looking to build off strong runs in 2019, but in different classifications. Buford in Class 5A and Jackson County in Class 3A both made the Final Four in 2019. The Lady Panthers, now in Class 5A, finished third in Region 8-5A this season.

White County, now in Class 3A,  advanced to the Elite 8 in 2019 and finished second in Region 7-3A in 2020. Cherokee Bluff was also a quarterfinalist in 2019 and is back as a No. 4 seed in 2020 out of Region 7-3A. Union County, the Region 8-2A champ in 2020, is also looking for another Elite 8 run or better.

In Class 3A, North Hall is back in the tournament for the first time since 2018, as is East Jackson. In Class 4A, Chestatee is back for the first time since 2017.

The second round is expected to begin on Saturday at the site of the higher seeded teams left.

STATE PLAYOFFS 1st ROUND, Oct. 20
(Best-of-5 format at higher seeded team)
CLASS 5A
Jackson County (R8, S3) at Northview (R5, S2)

CLASS 3A
Cherokee Bluff (R7, S4) at Lafayette (R6, S1)
East Jackson (R8, S3) at Sandy Creek (R5, S2)
Murray County (R6, S4) at Lumpkin County (R7, S1)
North Hall (R7, S3) at Sonoraville R6, S2)
Ringgold at (R6, S3) at White County (R7, S2)

STATE PLAYOFFS 1st ROUND, Oct. 21
(Best-of-5 format at higher seeded team)
CLASS 6A
Rome (Region 5, Seed 4) at Buford (Region 8, Seed 1)

CLASS 4A
Chestatee (R8, R3) at Hampton (R5, S2)
North Clayton (R5, S4) at Jefferson (R8, S1)

CLASS 2A/A PUBLIC
ACE (R5, S4) at Union County (R8, S1)
Banks County (R8, S4) at Pace Academy (R5, S1)

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