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Thursday, October 13, 2011 - 2:01pm

Metro Atlanta Powers Ready for Playoffs

St. Pius X took the Area 5-AAA tournament championship for the fourth year in a row. The Golden Lions once again are a top seed and will face Troup in the first round. Junior outside hitter Emily Morrison helped St. Pius to 45 wins this season, 12 more than in 2010. The six-foot Morrison led the team with 231 kills and an average of three kills per game. The setter duo of Grace McGoldrick and Amanda Stitt contributed heavily by combining for 685 assists. The Golden Lions should take care of business against Troup and then will face the winner between Walton and Central-Carroll. ... The state playoffs are here. Pope enters the postseason as the clear favorite in Class AAAA. The Greyhounds have been a permanent fixture in the state tournament for what seems like forever. The two-time defending state champions will be a top seed after winning the Area 7-AAAA championship. Senior outside hitter Mary Hannah Arrington led the way with 30 kills, three digs, two assists, and one ace in the final two matches of the tournament against Sequoyah and Sprayberry. Six-foot-four right hitter Katie Bange added 24 kills and senior Mikaela Tracy set the table with 70 assists. Pope is the most talented and one of the lengthiest squads in the state with four players hovering around six feet or taller. The Greyhounds come into the playoffs with a 38-2 record and should win a third straight state championship. ... Despite losing the tournament final, Sprayberry is in an advantageous position heading into playoffs. The Yellow Jackets used three victories in the Area 7-AAAA tournament to earn a second seed in the state tournament. The Jackets will face Lakeside-DeKalb in the first round.

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