The Heritage Lady Generals made it through to the Elite Eight in last year's Class AAAA state tournament and they took the first step toward doing it again on Wednesday with a rout of Miller Grove.
Heritage coasted past the outmatched Wolverines, the No. 4 seed from Area 6, in straight sets, 25-5, 25-4 and 25-5. Aaliyah Rodgers had nine kills and three aces in the win. Avery Phillips dished out 12 assists to go with four aces, while Abbey Blevins served up five aces and hammered home three kills.
Up next for the second-ranked Lady Generals (39-7) will be a second-round clash with the War Eagles of Chestatee, the No. 3 seed from Area 8. Chestatee (7-21) went on the road on Wednesday and swept Area 5 runner-up Hampton.
"To get ready for the next round, we need to be confident in the offensive system that we are trying to run," Heritage head coach Kari Cooper said. "We have to continue to build the connection between the hitters and setters in some new things we are trying."
The second-round match is scheduled for Saturday at Heritage. The start time had not been determined as of press time.
A win by Heritage on Saturday would mean an Elite Eight home match on Wednesday, Oct. 28 against Kendrick, the No. 3 seed from Area 2, or a showdown with Area 1 champion Central-Carroll. The GHSA's universal coin flip would decide home court advantage for that match-up as both teams would be No. 1 seeds.
Heritage faced Central back on Oct. 3 in a neutral site match at Sonoraville and beat the Lady Lions, 25-17 and 25-13.
Area 7 went 3-1 against Area 6 in the first round. Second-seeded and fourth-ranked Northwest Whitfield swept Arabia Mountain and third-seeded Cedartown won all three sets at Druid Hills. Top-ranked Marist carried the mantle for Area 6 as they won in three sets against sixth-ranked, but short-handed Ridgeland.
Heritage and Marist, should they continue to win, would meet in the state semifinals on Oct. 31.