Two area rivals will drive all the way to Canton to play each other in the Area 7-4A volleyball tournament today.

Third-seeded Northwest Whitfield (24-13) take on Murray County (11-15) at 5:30 p.m. and will turn right around — win or lose — and play a second match an hour later at Sequoyah High School.

Northwest defeated Murray 25-7, 2515 back on Sept. 22 in their only regular-season meeting.

Lady Bruins coach Richard Taylor be-lieves last Saturday’s tough 25-23, 25-22 victory over Chatta-hoochee, Class 5A’s No. 8-ranked team, as a solid gauge to how Northwest is playing heading into the postseason.

“I think we beat the best team we’ve beaten all year,” Taylor said. “Right now I think we’re playing as well as we can. We’ve gotten over some injuries and illness and we’re at full strength.”

If the Lady Bruins beat Murray County, they will play host Sequoyah in the second round. A loss would send them into a match against Cass.

“Kelsey Kirk and Christy Robinson are doing the most for our team right now, but we have all of our starters to play well. And they’ve all been doing that lately.

“And even though we’re a three seed, I think we can play with any of the teams down there.”

Dalton’s fifth-seeded Lady Catamounts (12-20) will take on Woodland-Bartok at 5:30 p.m. today.

“This season has been a good challenge for us,” Dalton coach Lisa Donahue said. “We lost a lot of experience off last year’s team and knew we might have a slow start, but every day we wanted to get better and peak at the right time of the season.”

In the regular-season finale matches on Tuesday at home, the Lady Cats beat Cass 25-17, 25-20 and lost to Sprayberry 25-12, 25-23. Kate Houston had 10 kills, Emily Harbin eight kills and Kathryn Sigmon 26 assists in Tuesday’s action.

“Even though we split those matches, we probably played better than we have all year,” Donahue said. “That was a good thing to see.”

If the Lady Cats beat Woodland they will play the Sequoyah-Rome winner. A loss on Thursday would send Dalton against the Sequoyah-Rome loser.

The tourney shifts from Sequoyah to Dalton on Saturday — action starts at 10 a.m. — when an area champion will be crowned, Donahue said. The championship game is scheduled for 2 p.m.

Coach Jake Dickey’s third-seeded Lady Raiders head into the Area 6-3A tournament at Carrollton on today with confidence of advancing. Southeast (22-15) plays Central-Carroll at 6 p.m.

“We haven’t played Central-Carroll before, but Cartersville beat them pretty good, so I’m hoping for the best,” Dickey said.

Southeast beat Cartersville 18-25, 29-27, 25-15 and Allatoona 25-16, 25-13 on Tuesday and kept up its torrid finish to the season that started after a soul-searching performance at Heritage-Catoosa two weeks ago.

“We went up there and got beat by Heritage and Gordon Lee,” Dickey said. “We had a team meeting and it got everyone fired up. After that we won nine of our last 10 matches and beat Cartersville on their senior night.

“We had a couple of chances to lose that match, but just kept on fighting and fighting and then smashed them in the last game.”

As has been the case all season, Dickey will rely on five seniors — Casey Crump, Cassey Adams, Lynsey King, Morgan Johnson and Ashley Nelson — to carry the Lady Raiders in the postseason. All five seniors start.

“The strength of our team right now is teamwork, playing well together, hustling and getting to our defensive positions,” Dickey said. “I think we’re really playing well. It has all come together.”

Southeast will host the Area 6-3A tournament on Saturday, with play starting at 9 a.m.

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