at Holy Innocents’
The No. 4 seed from Area 4-A, Christian Heritage (19-9) will travel to Atlanta to take on the Lady Golden Bears (28-14) at 6 p.m. Thursday.
Holy Innocents’, the Area 5-A champion, could be regarded as one of the best teams in the state regardless of classification.
The Lady Golden Bears’ losses have come to teams considered the state’s elite programs — such as seven-time state champion Westminster and six-time Class 6A champion Walton — and they’re currently ranked third in Class A after holding the top ranking earlier this season. They went 8-0 against Area 4-A competition during the regular season then won three games to claim the league’s tournament title.
“We are going to have to play really well for us to beat them,” Christian Heritage community coach Lisa Donahue said. “I haven’t seen them play this year, but they are always one of the top teams. If we can play our game and stay in control, we should do pretty well.”
Christian Heritage, which joined the Georgia High School Association prior to the 2012-13 school year, is in the GHSA state playoffs for the first time after enjoying a strong regular season. They fared well against teams from higher classifications in Murray and Whitfield counties, and they claimed a state berth from an area that includes a pair of ranked teams — No. 4 Walker and No. 8 Mount Paran Christian.
Donahue said the competition has been helpful for the Lady Lions.
“I think every day we have gotten better,” she said. “I have been happy with the freshmen and sophomores giving me everything they have. They are learning a new system, and we haven’t stalled out in the middle of the season.”
Christian Heritage is led by setter Jessica Seehorn and outside hitter Savannah Roberson, both seniors.
“Jessica runs that court really well with her experience with club ball. Her presence is real important to our success,” Donahue said. “She has a good ability to read the game and read players to distribute. If Savannah is on, she can put the ball down. It is huge for us if she has a good game.”
Holy Innocents’ outside hitter Sarah Joe was named the Area 5 player of the year and three other players — middle hitter Sara Porter, outside hitter Haley Collins and libero (defensive specialist) Mary Hollis Schmidt — were named to the all-area team.