The Wilson Hall varsity girls volleyball team doesn't own a gaudy record, but rather a good, sturdy 20-13. There is a reason for that though. The Lady Barons played a difficult non-region schedule, and did so pointing to this weekend.
WH is the upper No. 2 seed in the SCISA 3A state tournament that will be played on Friday and Saturday at Myrtle Beach Sports Center.
"We talked a lot about the schedule and what we wanted it to be," said Wilson Hall head coach Rip Ripley. "The girls wanted it to be 3-conference schedule. That's why we played teams like Thomas Sumter, Robert E. Lee, Sumter High; that's why we played in the Porter-Gaud tournament, that's why we played host to our tournament. We did this so we could try and be ready for this time of year."
The Lady Barons started the season 3-9, but won 17 of their final 21 on the way to winning a share of the Region II title with Florence Christian. FCS won the first match between the teams 3-0, while WH swept the second match.
"I think we're playing pretty good right now," Ripley said. "We've had some matches where we could have played better, but we've done a good job of rebounding from those matches in September (losing seven straight matches)."
Courtney Clark leads the Lady Barons around the net with 358 kills. Becca Noyes has 154 kills and Cameron Duffy has 105.
"Becca Noyes and Cameron Duffy have improved their hitting and that has helped us to go along with Courtney," Ripley said. "We've also improved defensively as the season's gone along."
Noyes leads the team with 31 total blocks. Duffy has 25 and Clark 10. Liza Lowder leads in digs with 256, while Clark has 181 and Madison Reaves 138.
Chandler Curtis is the top setter with 566 assists. Lowder leads in serves received with 623 followed by Clark with 290 and Reaves and Sydney Jarecki both with 142.
Lowder leads the team in service aces with 69 followed by Clark with 64 and Reaves with 44. Curtis leads in service percentage at 95.2 with Lowder right behind at 95.1
Wilson Hall will receive a first-round bye in the 11-team tournament. The Lady Barons will play at 1:30 p.m. on Friday against the winner of the noon match between No. 3 Heathwood Hall and No. 6 Orangeburg Prep.
WH swept Heathwood in two matches, winning the first 3-2 and the second 3-1. It swept OP 3-0 in both of their matches.
If Wilson Hall wins, it won't play again until Saturday at 10 a.m. It would either No. 1 seed Ashley Hall, the defending state runner-up which receives a first-round bye, or either Ben Lippen or First Baptist.
"It's a tall order," Ripley said of trying to advance through the best-of-3-sets matches in the upper bracket to advance to the best-of-5 state championship match on Tuesday. "Porter-Gaud has won like five straight titles and Ashley Hall has been in the championship match like 15 of the last 16 seasons. I think this team has the chance to go out and do something special."