CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The George Washington volleyball team is in a familiar position this weekend.
The Patriots have made it to the State Tournament in seven of the eight years coached by Missy Smith, and once again find themselves in the field again this season as well.
George Washington (44-10-3) opens play in the quarterfinals at the Charleston Civic Center at 1:30 p.m. today, where it should be favored against Parkersburg South (20-15).
That's because the Patriots boast one of the most experienced teams in any of the three classifications with nine seniors.
However, Smith isn't taking anyone lightly, and indicated this could be one of the most balanced tournaments in some time.
"Any of the eight could win it and it wouldn't be a shock," Smith said. "The State Tournament should be really interesting, that's for sure. All the teams have been beating each other up all year long."
Smith, though, knows she has a team seeing to win its first state title since 2006 when GW won back-to-back championships.
"Nine of our 12 varsity players are seniors," Smith said. "We are getting down to the wire and the intensity is starting to pick up. They know they are getting down to their last games and don't have any more left. Coming out of regionals, we are playing our best volleyball of the year."
GW lost a heartbreaker to eventual champion Spring Valley last season in the semifinals, giving the Patriots more motivation to go further this time around.