The strength of Myrtle Beach’s 2020 volleyball team is that it looks an awful lot like the 2019 edition.

Familiarity helps in the COVID-19 era.

“It’s almost the exact same team we had last year,” second-year coach Alyssa Hunter said. “These girls have already had one full season playing together. And so even though they’ve been off the court for a while, they’ve naturally just gone back into the swing of things.”

The Seahawks finished second in the region last year and fell to Airport in the first round of the 4A playoffs. The team that won the region, North Myrtle Beach, also won the state championship — for the second straight year (the Seahawks won the 2017 state title).

The Chiefs lost some of the key members of that championship-winning team, and with the Seahawks keeping their lineup intact, Hunter is optimistic about her squad’s ability to compete. Her lineup includes five seniors: Georgia Lewis, Lindley McCutcheon, Morgan Clemmons, Nadia Marshall and Ginger Truncale.

However, it’s unclear what Myrtle Beach’s region will look like this fall.

“I’m not real sure,” Hunter said. “I know a lot of the teams that we play lost a lot of seniors last year. We ended up having, I think, three of our matches were other schools’ senior nights.”

There have also been questions about whether some of the region schools, specifically Hartsville and Darlington, will be able to play matches because of COVID-19 concerns.

After all the training stops and starts of the summer, Hunter said her players are ready to hit the court.

“Our girls have been very excited about the prospect of getting out there,” she said. “They’ve been communicating with me off and on since the beginning of the summer, wanting to know when we were able to have open gym, when we could get back in. And they’ve been really big troopers with all of that.”

Contact Charles D. Perry at 843-488-7236

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I'm the editor of myhorrynews.com and the Carolina Forest Chronicle, a weekly newspaper in Horry County, South Carolina. I cover county government, the justice system and agriculture. Know of a story that needs to be covered? Call me at 843-488-7236.

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