While the 2012 high school volleyball season begins in earnest Thursday, one county team already has a game under its belt.
The Evans Lady Knights started their season Tuesday with a home match against Westside.
The Lady Knights went 11-7 in 2011 and advanced to the state AAAA tournament, but head coach Lance Schuckers isn’t sure what to expect from his team.
“I haven’t been this young since ’07, my first year head coaching,” he said of his untested group. “We’re behind as far as our experience, but we’ll get there.”
While it won’t count as an official region game, the Lady Knights travel to Grovetown Thursday to face the Lady Warriors, who make the jump from AAA to AAAAA this year.
The Lady Warriors seem primed for the fight, entering the season with eight seniors.
Head coach Amy Slagle said the main group has played with the varsity team for three years.
“They’ve improved every year,” she said. “I’m sure they’ll live up to expectations.”
Senior Katie Chancellor is entering her second year with the Lady Warriors and is looking forward to the new competition.
“I love it,” she said. “Last year we won our region, which is great, but I think that we also need a really good challenge.”
A really good challenge is what they’ll get, especially with Greenbrier lurking.
The Lady Wolfpack were 27-6 in 2011, won the area championship and advanced to the second round of the state AAAA playoffs. Greenbrier begins its season on the road Thursday in Augusta at Aquinas.
Schuckers had some notions about his competition.
“We’re in a new region this year,” Schuckers said. “Greenbrier is loaded, as normal. Lakeside, I’m not sure what they have, I haven’t seen them, and Grovetown is going to be pretty tough.”
On the independent side, Augusta Prep is coming off a 16-9 season in which they advanced to the quarterfinals of the Georgia Independent Schools Association. They get their season underway Tuesday at home against the Augusta Eagles homeschool program.
In the South Carolina Independent Schools Association, Augusta Christian starts at Colleton Prep Friday and play their first home game Monday against Ben Lippen.