Rockdale volleyball ranked for first time

CONYERS -- The Rockdale volleyball made some more history Tuesday.

After reaching the state quarterfinals for the first time, the Bulldogs are ranked No. 10 in the final gaprepcountry.com Class AAAA coaches poll of the 2011 season. It's the first state ranking in the history of the volleyball program.

Rockdale won its second consecutive Area 8-AAAA championship before knocking off Northgate, who at the time was ranked in the top 10, in the first round, 3-2.

"It's nice to be recognized in the rankings," said coach Stephen Sansing, whose team finished 38-12. "There was no guarantee the coaches would rank us just because we made the final eight. I think the quality win over Northgate gave us the edge."

The Bulldogs followed that first-round win, which came after the visiting Vikings took a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five match, with the program's first-ever win in the round of 16, 3-1 over Harris County, before losing 3-0 in the quarterfinals to eventual state champion Pope.

"I'm really excited for this team to be able to say they were the first ranked volleyball team ever at Rockdale," Sansing added.

Region 8 football title still up for grabs, somewhat

Things could get interesting after Friday's regular season concludes on football fields throughout Region 8-AAAA.

For Class AAAA No. 4 and 9-0 Flowery Branch it's simple: defeat Clarke Central in Athens and clinch the region title. But if 8-1 Clarke pulls the upset and Heritage (8-1) handles 2-7 Madison County Friday in Conyers, that would set up a three-way tie.

The three teams would each be declared a region champion, but the seeding would be decided by a tiebreaker Saturday morning at Loganville High School. At 7:30 a.m., Loganville principal Nathan Franklin will pull names from a hat and the first school picked will have the league's No. 1 seed. The final two teams selected will fill out the Nos. 2 and 3 seeds.

While Clarke is hoping to win its second consecutive region championship, both Flowery Branch and Heritage have never won region titles in football.

RTC receives award

The Rockdale Tennis Center was rewarded recently for its efforts to help youth tennis grow in the state of Georgia.

The conyerstennis.com Junior Classic Tournament, held May 21-22 at the RTA, was selected by the USTA as the 2011 Junior Tournament of the Year at the annual Georgia awards ceremony held in mid-October.

As the Georgia winner, the level 4 tournament is also in the running for Southern Junior Tournament of the Year.