The first round of play in the Class 4 and 3A state volleyball playoffs on Tuesday produced mostly positive results for Midlands entries.
That was certainly the case in Class 4A, where Spring Valley, Dutch Fork and White Knoll all won at home, and Blythewood and defending state runner-up Lexington scored first-round upsets on the road.
Only Irmo and Lugoff-Elgin faltered against tough foes - Aiken and ando, respectively - on the road.
Spring Valley toppled Gaffney 3-0, Dutch Fork dispatched Clover 3-0, White Knoll breezed by Beaufort 3-0.
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But while the first round produced joyful outcomes, the reward in most cases is tempered by demanding second-round match-ups. In the Upper State bracket, Spring Valley hosts defending state champion Dorman on Thursday, Dutch Fork heads north to face Region 2 champion Hillcrest and White Knoll travels in the other direction to face inveterate power Wando.
Meanwhile, Lexington finds itself with a surprising second-round home match against Blythewood. The Wildcats, who failed to earn a first-round home playoff date for the first time in 10 years, advanced with a 3-1 at Ashley Ridge, while the Bengals scored a surprising 3-0 sweep over Region 6 champion Carolina Forest.
In Class 3A, Airport, Camden and Chapin all opened with home wins, while Brookland-Cayce and Dreher were eliminated on the road. Camden will be out to advance to the third round for the seventh time since 2000. Chapin has advanced as far as the third round only once (2007). Airport’s last move to the third round was in 2006.
The highlight on Thursday is the second-round clash between Region 6 champion Camden and Region 5 runner-up Chapin. Meanwhile, Region 5 champion Airport hosts Berkeley.
Brookland-Cayce suffered the indignity of a first-round exit for the first time since Class 3A went to straight bracket play in 2000.