by Hunter Dawkins

Although it appears to be a tradition for the Our Lady Academy Crescents looking for their eighth consecutive state title in the Mississippi High School Activities Association (MHSAA) Class I region, the Long Beach Lady Bearcats advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 2012.

Competing in the 5A classification, the Long Beach Lady Bearcats (19-8) upset the Lady Braves of South Jones on the road by winning the match in four sets.  The Lady Bearcats dropped the first set 25-18, then won the final three by a score of 25-11, 25-16, 25-10.

This will be the first time that the Long Beach Volleyball team has played after the second round of the playoffs in over seven years and the first time under Lady Bearcats Head Coach Rebecca Tillman.  Long Beach Junior Abbi Grissom leads the team in every statistical category as they head to Starkville on the Mississippi State campus to play against New Hope at 4pm Thursday.

It has become almost second nature for the OLA Lady Crescents (35-5) and another Coach Mike Meyers-led team to play in the semifinals, as they will play Belmont at noon on Thursday in Starkville.

The Lady Crescents last MHSAA loss was against Lewisburg High School in 2011 by a 3-1 score.  OLA Senior Rebecca Walk leads the team in all statistical categories.