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Top volleyball teams converge in Gwinnett

For the better part of the last decade, the Collins Hill Classic has proven to be one of the metro Atlanta area's top midseason high school volleyball tournaments.

The 2009 edition should be no different when it gets under way this afternoon at Collins Hill and North Gwinnett high schools with pool play beginning at 4 p.m.

"It's pretty big," said Nicole Frank, coach of the host Eagles. "We've got 20 teams from all over the Atlanta area coming in to play against each other and get ready for their area play, and we've got some pretty big teams this year."

Three teams in the current ga.prepcountry.com state rankings - Blessed Trinity (No. 3 in Class AA/A), West Forsyth (No. 7 in Class AAA) and Kell (No. 6 in Class AAAAA) - are among this year's field, along with perennial postseason participants like Norcross, North Gwinnett and Parkview.

Other Gwinnett teams in the field include Berkmar, Central Gwinnett, Duluth, Hebron Christian Mountain View and Shiloh. Non-county teams Flowery Branch, Forsyth Central, Hart County, North Forsyth, North Hall, North Springs and Tucker round out the field.

Pool play begins with best-of-three games at 4 p.m. this afternoon, with the top two teams from each of the five four-team pools advancing to the Gold Bracket single elimination tournament Saturday, culminating in the best-of-five championship match at 4:30 p.m. at Collins Hill.

SOFTBALL

Eagles blank Dacula

DACULA - Kacey Hawskhead threw a complete game, one-hit shutout and Aericka Miles had two hits as Collins Hill defeated Dacula 3-0 in pool play at the Brookwood Invitational on Wednesday at Dacula.

Hawkshead (8-2) stuck out five in going the distance and got enough offensive support from Miles, along with Christina Parham and Brianna Cason, each of whom had a hit and drove in a run for the Eagles (17-3).