Wando Invitational serves up top teams

The Wando volleyball team huddles after scoring a point.

The High School League’s state volleyball championships are set for Nov. 9, but if you want a sneak preview of many of the teams that will contend for titles, then head out to this weekend’s Wando Invitational.

Hillcrest, Aiken, Eastside and Bishop England are among the High School League heavyweights in this year’s field. Hillcrest won the Wando tournament last fall and went on to win the Class AAAA state title over Aiken. Eastside won the Class AAA crown, and Bishop England won the Class AA state title for a record 12th consecutive year. Class A state champ St. Joseph was invited to compete but could not because it would have placed the school over the maximum number of matches a team can play during the regular season.

Throw in SCISA state champ Porter-Gaud and runner-up Ashley Hall, and you have one potent field.

“I think it’s going to be a good one,” said Wando coach Alexis Glover, whose team finished second to Hillcrest in its invitational last October. “We’re two weeks away from the start of the playoffs and this is a good way to get ready. There are only good matches. There are no slack matches. I love that kind of competition.”

The rest of the field includes Rock Hill, Bluffton, Lexington, First Baptist, James Island, West Ashley, Summerville and Sumter.

Play begins Friday and continues Saturday at Wando High School and Cario Middle School. The championship is slated for 5 p.m. at Wando.

The South Carolina Independent Schools Association (SCISA) will crown its fall state champions beginning Saturday when the state swimming meet is contested in Augusta.

The state tennis championships is Oct. 18-19 at the Palmetto Tennis Center in Sumter.

The Upper and Lower State volleyball championships will be held Oct. 17-19 in Sumter. The Class A state championship will be held Oct. 21 at a site to be determined. The Class AA and AAA championships will be held the following day at locations to be determined.

The state cross country meet will be held Oct. 26 at Heathwood Hall School.

The 8-man state football championship will be held Nov. 22 at a location to be determined.

The Class A, AA and AAA title games will be held Nov. 23 at Benedict College in Columbia.