High School Sports

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VOLLEYBALL

Coach Chee Lee was bored with the typical volleyball tournament routine. So the Lexington Invitational, which begins Friday at 3:45 p.m., will include more than competition among 12 of the state's top-ranked teams.

The group will gather to watch South Carolina take on Tennessee in women's volleyball during a break in pool play competition.

"Hopefully, this will be a new way of interacting. What I want to do is try to get everybody to just fellowship and relax as peers," Lee said.

Of course, with a field that includes Blythewood, Camden, Porter-Gaud, Bishop England, West Ashley and Hillcrest, the competition is bound to get heated eventually.

Six matches will be played at USC on Friday night, with Daniel facing Porter-Gaud at 8:15 p.m. and Lexington taking on Hillcrest at 8:45 p.m.

Three divisional championship matches are scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday at Lexington High and Pleasant Hill Middle School.

TENNIS

Chapin started its run at a Region 4-2A title with a 7-0 victory against Lugoff-Elgin in the Sept. 15 conference opener. On Tuesday, the Eagles play host to the Demons.

Chapin (6-1, 2-0) must ward off overconfidence, and an upset, if it is to challenge region favorite A.C. Flora for the title in two weeks. With two matches against A.C. Flora to be played, the team cannot afford to be caught looking ahead.

GOLF

The Smith Memorial Rally for the Cure tournament began as a fundraiser for cancer research, and has become a favorite tournament of several teams. The third annual version of the tournament tees off at 2 p.m. on Monday at Timberlake Golf Course with its largest field yet.

Fourteen teams are in this year's event, including Dutch Fork, Chapin, Lexington, South Aiken, Strom Thurmond and host Brookland-Cayce. There is a waiting list of teams hoping to compete in next year's tournament.

Bearcats coach Roger Smith started the tournament in honor of his parents.

"I used my own personal money to start this, and when it's a good cause, it's not hard to get people to participate," Smith said. Last year, the tournament raised $2,000 for the Rally for the Cure Campaign. This year, Smith expects an even higher yield for the charity.

CROSS COUNTRY

Alexa Neiling and her Mauldin teammates are among a handful of the state's top runners who are heading to Charlotte on Saturday for the Wendy's Invitational. Rock Hill, Fort Mill and Clover also are slated to attend the meet at McAlpine Greenway Park.

Last year, S.C. runners took second and third in the girls race, and Mauldin finished ninth in team scoring, with Neiling leading at 25th place. On the boys side, Fort Mill's Mark Blackmon finished second in 2008 and should lead the Yellow Jackets again.

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