The Oklahoman

Heritage Hall eyes 4A breakthrou­gh

- High School Insider Nick Sardis The Oklahoman USA TODAY NETWORK

The Oklahoma high school volleyball state tournament­s for Classes 4A and 3A are set to begin Friday.

Shawnee will host the 4A tournament. The quarterfinals will be held Friday, the semifinals and finals are scheduled for Saturday. Choctaw will host the 3A quarterfinals. The semifinals and finals will be at Shawnee.

Here are some storylines and players to watch at the tournament­s.

Top storylines

Community Christian eyes another title: The Royals are back in the 3A state tournament and have a stellar leader in sophomore Landry Braziel, who will try to help the program claim its second straight championsh­ip and fourth overall. Community Christian will open against Chisholm. If the Royals advance, they will play the Broken Arrow Summit Christian-Oklahoma Union winner in the semifinals.

Bethany looks to make most of opportunit­y: The Bronchos failed to advance to the 4A state tournament but have been given another life. Catoosa was originally set to compete but was removed because of a rule violation related to the participat­ion of an ineligible player. Bethany took Catoosa’s spot and will attempt to make a run. Bethany will play Tulsa Regent Prep in the quarterfinals.

Heritage Hall among teams aiming to knock off powerhouse: Tulsa Victory Christian won the 5A state title last year, its fourth consecutiv­e championsh­ip, and is now in 4A. The Conquerors are the team to beat. Among the teams looking to knock off the powerhouse is Heritage Hall. The Chargers are 19-11 and will take a three-match win streak into their quarterfinal matchup against Verdigris.

Players to watch

Sydney Balmes, Jr., North Rock Creek: She had strong performanc­es in North Rock Creek’s two regional victories. Balmes had 21 kills, 46 digs and six aces, helping North Rock Creek advance to the 4A state tournament.

Landry Braziel, So., Community Christian: A finalist last year for The Oklahoman’s All-City Volleyball Player of the Year award, Braziel is one of the top young players in the state. She has led Community Christian to a 34-3 record, and the Royals will attempt to claim their second straight title.

Wellesley Miller, Sr., Bethany: The outside hitter and libero is a valuable leader for the Bronchos, who will take a 20-15 record into Friday. “She works hard and is always willing to play the position needed in the moment,” Bethany coach Kerri Cagle said.

 ?? STEVE SISNEY/FOR THE OKLAHOMAN ?? Community Christian’s Landry Braziel and her teammates celebrate their final point and win over Heritage Hall in the Class 3A state volleyball final in Blanchard on Oct. 10, 2020.
STEVE SISNEY/FOR THE OKLAHOMAN Community Christian’s Landry Braziel and her teammates celebrate their final point and win over Heritage Hall in the Class 3A state volleyball final in Blanchard on Oct. 10, 2020.
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