For North Hall to be able to defend its Hall County championship in volleyball, it’ll certainly have to earn it.
On Saturday, all 10 volleyball programs in the county will convene on Gainesville High for the day-long championship event.
With a handful of programs who would be considered candidates to win it all, during a season filled with parity, the Lady Trojans like their chances.
“The biggest thing is that we look forward to having the opportunity to defend our championship,” North Hall coach Emi Hughes said. “This is exciting for all our players.”
In 2021, North Hall went on to beat Flowery Branch in the county championship match.
However in the postseason, both the Lady Falcons (Class 4A runner-up) and Cherokee Bluff (Class 3A) were state semifinalists.
This weekend will have the same type of talent and competition on the floor. Starting at 9 a.m., matches will be held in the new Student Activities Center at Gainesville High, along with matches going on at its main gymnasium.
This marks the first time that all 10 volleyball-playing schools will hold a county championship on the same school campus.
And it will be deep with talent.
The Lady Trojans (4-5) are going to be tough to beat.
However, Chestatee, Cherokee Bluff and Gainesville are also off to a good start this season and will be in the running for a spot in the championship match.
“It’s a great atmosphere for volleyball,” Red Elephants coach Randy Roys said. “There’s a lot of parity with the programs in Hall County.”
What makes the Hall County championships so special for volleyball is the camaraderie among coaches and players, Roys said.
“At the end of the day, we all have good relationships with one another,” Roys said. “And the level of play is really increasing every year.”
To win at Hall County, it takes at least five matches to get the trophy since the top seeds (North Hall and Flowery Branch) have a first-round bye in pool play.
Still, it’s an endurance race, regardless of the seed to start it out.
After the country championship, programs in Hall County will get down to business in region play.
So for Gainesville, in Class 6A, and Flowery Branch, in Class 5A, they won’t have any more matches against programs in Hall.
“It’s one time for us to get to play each other for all the marbles,” Roys said.