Kennesaw Mountain at South Forsyth
When, where: Thursday, 5 p.m., at South Forsyth High School.
Records, rankings, seedings: Kennesaw Mountain is 24-21, unranked in Class AAAAAA and the No. 4 seed from Area 4-AAAAAA; South is 37-7, ranked No. 3 and the No. 1 seed from Area 6.
What to know: South enters as one of the handful of state title contenders in Class AAAAAA, particularly after coming out of Area 6-AAAAAA as area champs. It’s hard to imagine many teams have the balance of experience and skill the Lady War Eagles possess. Co-Area 6-AAAAAA Player of the Year Amanda Nugent (490 kills, 200 digs) leads the way, but South can also depend on getting offense from Lily Kincaid (244 kills) and Giana Frangipane (93 kills) on the outside or Shea McNamara (233 kills, 108 blocks) and Avery Kline (159 kills) in the middle while setter Courtney Darling (1,107 assists) gets it all going. Erin Yeatman (969 digs) leads the defense, but she has help from Savian Jordan (277 digs), Rachel Ross (144 digs), Darling and Nugent.
Whereas South players has reached at least the state quarterfinals each of the past three seasons, Kennesaw Mountain hasn’t advanced past the first round since 2011. The Lady Mustangs’ top three hitters Elizabeth Born (217 kills), Meghan Cobelli (192) and Allie Dreyer (151) are a sophomore, freshman and sophomore, respectively. Dreyer is arguably the team’s best all-around player contributing in service (58 aces), defense (252 digs) and offense (303 assists). Kennesaw Mountain’s primary setter, Leah Spurgeon (334 assists), is a sophomore. Abby Marzen leads the team in digs (321); she’s a junior.
Who’s next: The winner will play the Pope-Grayson winner.