It’s not been the season Pinecrest Academy volleyball expected.
It started with Meg Bohn resigning as head coach just before the season started, leaving the school to scramble to find a replacement. Pinecrest eventually promoted Sandy Seiferth, who’d been working with the school’s middle school program.
It continued with season-ending injuries to expected starters Catherine Clark, Brooke Miller and Gabby Wesemeyer, leaving the Lady Paladins with razor-thin depth.
And yet Pinecrest went 18-14 overall and 5-2 in Area 4-A during the regular season and finds itself with a great chance to reach the state playoffs for the second straight season and third since the school joined the Georgia High School Association going into the area tournament this week.
Here’s a quick look at how teams stack up in the Area 4-A tournament:
Favorites: Fellowship Christian, Mt. Vernon Presbyterian. The two teams are ranked fifth and seventh, respectively, in Class A, by MaxPreps.com, though Fellowship (27-8) has won two its three meetings against Mt. Vernon (19-5) this season. Slight edge goes to Fellowship.
Contenders: Pinecrest Academy, St. Francis. The Lady Paladins can’t quite be put in the same category as Fellowship Christian and Mt. Vernon; they went a combined 0-5 against those teams in the regular season. But Pinecrest is ranked just outside the top 10 (at 14th) in Class A by MaxPreps. With a go-to hitter in Adeline Seiferth, solid setter in Vanessa Fowler and size at the net in Caroline Clark and Tessa Stubbs, the Lady Paladins are a state playoff-caliber team. So is St. Francis. The Lady Knights are ranked just one spot below Pinecrest by MaxPreps. Pinecrest defeated St. Francis in the teams’ lone meeting during the regular season.
Others: Atlanta International School, Galloway, King’s Ridge and Mt. Pisgah have a combined .239 winning percentage. Of the four, only Mt. Pisgah could give the area’s playoff caliber teams a tough match. It pushed Pinecrest to five sets in a 3-2 win by the Lady Paladins earlier this season.