Ashley Hall volleyball standout Litsa Darby was in Columbia last week to cheer on her future University of South Carolina teammates.
"It was so exciting up there," Darby said. "USC beat Auburn and Georgia."
This weekend, she will return to the capital city to watch South Carolina battle Clemson on the football field. Is Darby a Gamecock good luck charm?
"I certainly hope so," Darby said.
Good luck charm are not, the four-time all-state selection is The Post and Courier's Lowcountry Player of the Year.
She's helped her team to four state championship appearances -- winning two -- and concluded her brilliant career with a school record.
The 5-8 setter established an Ashley Hall school record with 3,884 career assists, and helped the Panthers to a 162-19 record during her career.
Soon, it will be time for Darby to matriculate to Columbia and be the latest in her family to attend South Carolina.
Her father, John, attended The Citadel and her mother, Georgia, played volleyball at the College of Charleston. But she says just about everyone else in her family attended USC, including her great-grandfather, J.C. Long. He played football for the Gamecocks.
"My family is so excited about me going to USC," Darby said. "Everyone is excited that I reached my dream."
Darby comes from a volleyball family. In addition to her mother, her aunt Alexis Glover coaches Wando and is one of the winningest coaches in state history.
Glover's daughter, Christina, was The Post and Courier player of the year in 2008 ago and is on the Gamecocks' volleyball roster.
Darby and Glover will be teammates next fall.
Darby has been in the Ashley Hall volleyball program since the fourth grade. She also played basketball, soccer and track, but it was volleyball that was in her blood.
"Clearly, Litsa is one of the most committed and dedicated players I've seen," Ashley Hall coach Franny Slay said. "She cares very much about her teammates and wants to win.
"She leads by example and is very supportive. Even as a freshman, the girls looked up to her and followed her lead. She never comes off the court. Unless we're playing a lesser opponent, she never comes off the court."
Darby's success highlighted what was another outstanding high school volleyball season in the Lowcountry.
Bishop England won its 12th straight Class AA state championship and 22nd overall, which tied the national record. The Bishops are represented on the first team by junior Ellie James, a first-team pick two years in a row.
Porter-Gaud won its second straight state title and has two first-team picks: Julia McAvoy and Lexie Meyer, a pair of talented juniors.
Cyclones coach Ashley Heidtke is the coach of the year for the second time in three years.
Wando all-state selection Tinsley Hallman and Ashley Hall senior Jessica Graham round out the first team.