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Lady Canes on a roll as they prepare to host state playoffs

Cartersville volleyball, area champions, 2016

The Cartersville volleyball team won the Area 5-AAAA championship tournament last week at Sandy Creek and will have an opportunity to host the first two rounds of the state playoffs as a No. 1 seed.

The Lady Canes will open the playoffs Thursday by hosting Hephizibah — the fourth-seed from Area 3-AAAA — in the first round.

The winner of the Cartersville/Hephizibah match will play the Heritage-Catoosa/Northside-Columbus survivor in the second round October 18. Cartersville would host the second round if they advance past Hephzibah.

The Lady Canes are 28-16 on the year heading into the state playoffs and they are riding a nine-match winning streak that included Area 5-AAAA tournament wins over Troup County and Sandy Creek. Those two teams had beaten Cartersville earlier in the season.

Cartersville’s improvement may be attributed, in part, to a rigorous non-area schedule that included some of the top teams from all classifications.

The Lady Canes have succeeded with a balanced lineup that has seen major contributions from a variety of players.

Junior Catie Heilman leads the team in kills with sophomore Rebekah Stevens and freshman Lauren Wenzell not too far behind.

Sophomore Nedu Evans and 5’10” junior Elsa Evans are tops among the Lady Canes in blocks. Another 5’10” blocker, Grace Hunter, is a team statistical leader in the defensive category.

Anna Mathis and Heilman lead the team in digs per match, while senior Kameron Hendrix is tops on the team with 533 assists and Hunter leads the team in service aces.

The remainder of the Lady Canes’ roster includes Addie Smith (Jr., 100 digs, 24 kills); Jayla Delgado (Jr., 33 digs, 18 assists); and Bella Corrigan (So., 90 digs).

The Lady Canes lost their head coach, Camille Spradley, for unspecified reasons just over two weeks ago. The team has rallied, however, to play some of their best volleyball of the year during the playoffs.

Athletic Director Darrell Demastus is heading the team with assistance from Dutch Cochran.

“The girls are getting the job done,” stated Demastus. “They know their roles and know what they are supposed to do. It’s now just a matter of performing.”

The first two rounds of the state playoffs are hosted at higher seeded school sites. The third round and beyond is hosted at Marietta High School.

(Statistical information via

2016 Class AAAA state volleyball playoff bracket

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