High school volleyball season to get underway

Aug. 6—Christian Heritage Last year’s record: 14-22 Coach: Tori Malone Area 7-A

The previous public-private split is gone in Georgia high school athletics, so Christian Heritage enters the season in a Class A with a mix of private and public schools.

The Lady Lions will have a new libero (defensive specialist) this season. Amelia White, who was a first team all-region performer and piled up more than 1,000 digs in her career, graduated last spring.

Riley Strickland, a Dalton Daily Citizen All-Area third-teamer a year ago, will be counted on as a junior setter for the Lady Lions.

Coahulla Creek Last year’s record: 19-15-1 Coach: Courtney Wilson Area 6-3A

Coahulla Creek improved from nine wins in 2020 to 19 last year, and the Lady Colts are aiming to keep the trend going.

The Lady Colts bring back Jelleny Mallozzi, a hitter and setter who was an All-Area 6-3A performer last year as a freshman.

Dalton Academy Last year’s record: N/A Coach: Lynda Hernandez Area 7-A

Dalton Academy adds varsity volleyball in the school’s second year. Lynda Hernandez is the coach.

In other sports, Class A is broken into two divisions, but the two are combined into a single Class A for volleyball since fewer smaller schools have volleyball programs.

Dalton Academy shares Area 7-A with Christian Heritage.

Dalton Last year’s record: 24-22 Coach: Serena Turner Region 7-5A

Former Dalton coach Edis Krnjic stepped down after five seasons leading the Lady Catamounts. Serena Turner is taken over.

Her first roster includes Gracie Ridley, a junior setter who was an all-region performer last season on her way to setting a Dalton record for kills in a season with 393.

The Lady Cats lost Searany De La Cerda, who has been a rock at libero, to graduation.

Murray County Last Year’s Record: 22-13 Coach: David Anthony Area 7-2A

Despite a winning record last year, Murray County missed out on the playoffs in a tough area.

The Lady Indians are in a new-look Area 7-2A this year after bumping down from Class 3A.

Skyler Mahoney, an all-area performer as a sophomore a year ago, returns.

North Murray Last year’s record: 6-17 Coach: Grace Queen Area 7-2A

North Murray’s new coach is very familiar with Lady Mountaineer volleyball.

North Murray graduate and former volleyball standout Grace Queen leads the team this season.

North Murray looks to improve on a 6-17 record from last season.

Northwest Whitfield Last year’s record: 40-7 Coach: Kelsey Ikerd Area 7-4A

Northwest Whitfield is coming off two straight appearances in the state’s Final Four, but the Lady Bruins have plenty of talent to replace if they want to make a return trip.

Northwest lost the last two winners of the Dalton Daily Citizen’s All-Area Player of the Year award. Emma Allen won in 2019 and 2021, while Emma Hayes won in 2020. Both graduated this spring, along with standout libero Whitley Chumley.

Northwest returns Allie Anderson, who piled up 628 assists last year as a junior.

Southeast Whitfield Last year’s record: 4-30-1 Coach: Bethany Kenemer Area 7-4A

Southeast Whitfield heads into the 2022 season looking to break a playoff drought stretching to 2017.

Two standout sophomores, Trinity Burse and Ashley Hurtado, were named All-Area 7-4A second team last season.

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