The Apalachee High School volleyball team has been on the big stage before and coach Joey Alfonso said he hopes his team is ready for the spotlight again.
The Lady Wildcats will enter the 8-AAAAA tournament as the No. 1 seed and will look to secure its spot in the upcoming state tournament as the region tournament gets under way. AHS is set to play Salem Thursday at 5 p.m. The region tournament is at Flowery Branch High School.
Alfonso’s team finished the regular season 34-9 overall and has now posted 30 wins for the second time in three years. During the past three seasons, the Lady Wildcats have registered 92 victories. AHS is also 8-0 against region foes this fall.
“We’ve had some good practices recently,” Alfonso said. “It does concern me that we have not played in several days. We have been doing OK. We are passing the ball better. We’ve had to solve a few problems. We still have some young girls on the court.”
With the school on fall break this week, Alfonso planned practice sessions for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning. The team will also have a final warm-up session Thursday prior to leaving for their match.
A win Thursday would put the Lady Wildcats in the winner’s bracket against either Flowery Branch or Clarke Central Saturday. All region tournament matches will be in Flowery Branch. It would take a minimum of three wins Saturday to clinch the region tournament. If AHS should slip in the loser’s bracket, it could take as many as five victories to secure the No. 1 seed for the state tournament.
“We’ve been in this position before, so hopefully we’ll be ready to go,” Alfonso said. “This is what we’ve been working for.”