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LA volleyball state title defense begins Friday

The 2023 Laurens Academy volleyball team.

The drive for a second straight SCISA Class 1A state volleyball title begins in earnest this weekend for the Laurens Academy varsity volleyball team.

The Crusaders defeated Cambridge Academy 3-1 Tuesday night to capture the Region 4 championship and the No. 1 overall seed in this weekend’s state tournament in Myrtle Beach. Cambridge (23-2-1) became the first SCISA team to defeat LA (26-7-2) on Oct. 10 with a 3-2 (25-14, 17-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-11) victory to set up Tuesday’s winner-take-all match at Newberry Academy.

The two teams met in last year’s state final at Erskine College with LA earning the win.

This year’s state tournament is to begin Friday at Myrtle Beach. The finals are to be played Monday at neutral site.

Brackets were released Wednesday morning. LA will receive a first-round bye and is scheduled to play the Wardlaw-Curtis Baptist winner at 12:45 p.m. Friday at the Myrtle Beach Sports Center.

Two LA players reached milestones at the end of the season. Senior Madison Sherman, a North Greenville commit, recorded 2,000 kills and 1,000 digs for her career, and Madison Loe recorded her 1,000th assist.

The LA middle school volleyball team finished a perfect 18-0 season with a region tournament title Saturday. Braylee Burke was named MVP, while Caroline Robinson and Brooklyn Self joined her on the all-tournament team.

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