The 16th annual Augusta Prep Volleyball Fall Classic is more than just a two-day tournament for 12 teams.
For the Lady Cavaliers, it’s also a warmup for the end of October, when they play host to the 2013 Georgia Independent School Association Volleyball Championships.
“The way the gym is set up and the competition and how loud it gets when you have two games going on side-by-side in the gym, it is a good warmup,” said Lady Cavaliers head coach Rich Bland, who gave credit to parents and the school for their assistance in putting on the event. “It’s a labor of love, but it’s well worth it.”
The Lady Cavaliers had a good two days, winning the silver bracket Saturday while going 6-1 overall. Their only blemish came at the hands of GISA two-time defending Class AAA champion and tournament gold bracket winner Trinity Christian, who beat them Friday afternoon. Trinity Christian gave the Lady Cavaliers their only other loss as well.
To win their bracket, the Lady Cavaliers (18-2) had to win four times Saturday.
“We defeated a really tough Wardlaw Academy team that we had to beat twice and beat them for the third time this season,” Bland said. “The third time is often the hardest against a well-matched team.”
In their final two matches Saturday, the Lady Cavaliers and Lady Patriots split the first two games, with the Lady Cavaliers winning the tiebreakers 15-10 each time.
The Lady Cavaliers beat Harvester Christian 2-0 in the tournament opener Friday before losing to Trinity Christian 25-22 and 25-14. They rebounded to beat Dominion Christian in three games heading into Saturday’s play.
On Saturday, the Lady Cavaliers swept by Augusta Christian and the Augusta Eagles, setting up the showdown with Wardlaw Academy.
Bland liked what he saw from his team across the board and from those who filled in when second defensive specialist Ada Dolan missed Saturday after getting hit in the head with the ball Friday.
“We had leadership in a lot of different positions,” Bland said. “Margaret Cavanaugh played very well in the middle. Savina Patheja had a great tournament. Our setter Hannah Masiongale has done a great job, and then our passing defense was really good with Herrington Murray.”