South Aiken High School's volleyball team crossed the state line Tuesday to play Lakeside.
A day later, Augusta Prep went into South Carolina for a match against North Augusta High School.
This volleyball trend gradually increased in recent years among the area's top teams. Columbia County's high schools are scheduling more matches against South Carolina teams. It seems to benefit both sides of the Savannah River.
"For one thing, it's close," South Aiken volleyball coach Teresa Carter said. "It's very good practice before we start our region games more than anything else."
The same applies for the Georgia teams. Area play doesn't get into full swing for several weeks. The South Carolina schools are better opponents than most volleyball teams in surrounding Georgia counties.
"They're just so far ahead of the game," Greenbrier volleyball coach Debbie Born said. "They start earlier over there than we do, and it's close. That's a big thing."
Lakeside beat South Aiken on Tuesday in a close match that went to three games. The Lady Panthers trailed 9-1 in the third game before a big run gave them a 10-9 lead. Lakeside won 25-22.
"Seeing that I walked in with the schedule already made, I'm really happy that we're playing these teams," Lakeside first-year volleyball coach Danielle Gonzalez said.
"They have athletes, and they're well coached, competitive programs."
This weekend several South Carolina high schools made the trip to Georgia once again to play at Greenbrier. The Lady Wolfpack and Lady Panthers will return the favor two weeks later by playing in a tournament at Aiken High School.
Augusta Prep will hold a tournament later in the month that will also draw South Carolina competition.
At Greenbrier on Saturday, the matches pitting South Carolina teams against Georgia teams were on the same day the college football teams from each state collided.
"I'm trying to make this into a true border bash," Born said. "We actually had to move the start to 9 a.m. instead of 10 because everybody has tickets to the South Carolina/Georgia game, and all the parents were complaining that they weren't going to be able to get back in time. It's mostly the Oconee team, but that's fine. We moved everything back."
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