Raiders News · Volleyball Team Earns National Championship


 Raiders dominate Georgia 7A classification

MARIETTA, Ga., February 2, 2018 — The Walton High School girls’ volleyball team has finished first nationally in the MaxPreps poll for the 2017 season. The announcement was made by MaxPreps, the online high school sports leader and a site.

“Each fall, nearly twenty thousand varsity volleyball teams take the court with the dream of winning a state title. Nationwide, the best-of-the-best qualify for recognition on The MaxPreps Tour of Champions. Together with the Army National Guard, MaxPreps honors the most outstanding teams in the nation for their state championship performance and elite national level ranking,” said Andy Beal, president and founder of MaxPreps.

“Congratulations to the Walton Raiders players, coaches, and fans for an amazing year and for earning the Army National Guard’s national ranking trophy.”

“This is a huge honor for our program to be recognized on a national level,” said Walton head volleyball coach Suzanne Fitzgerald, who completed her 12th season. “The community of Walton gives so much of themselves, so to receive this award is a gift to each other – the parents, the teachers, the students – for all of their hard work.”

Walton (40-1) has dominated the Peach State. The Raiders have not lost a match in the state for the past three seasons and have not lost a set to a Georgia opponent the past two seasons. The team won its first 33 matches before stumbling against Mater Dei of Santa Ana, Calif., 2-1, on Sept. 30, 2017 in the finals of the Nike Tournament of Champions in Tempe, AZ.  They won 17 matches before losing a set and set a school record for the highest set won-loss percentage .960 (97-4), with two of those losses to Mater Dei.

Walton made quick work of Etowah of Woodstock, 3-0, on Oct. 28, to notch its third straight Georgia 7A state championship and the school’s seventh over the last eight years. The championship victory was the Raiders third against Etowah this season and represented the school’s 12th volleyball title. Walton is one of only 10 girls’ volleyball schools being honored on this year’s Tour of Champions. This marks the third time (2014 and 2016) that Walton’s volleyball team has been selected to the Tour of Champions.

Georgia Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Rosemary Kane presented Coach Fitzgerald and the team with the Army National Guard national ranking trophy Thursday night during halftime of a Lady Raider basketball game. The team also received a banner for their accomplishment.

“The Army National Guard represents teamwork and a commitment to community and country. Just as your team joins together to defeat adversity and win, the Army National Guard stands vigilant as a team to protect the community and country in which we live,” said Master Sergeant Mark Wojciechowski. “On behalf of the Army National Guard, I am privileged to recognize this nationally ranked championship team for their dedication, leadership and teamwork.”

MaxPreps Computer Rankings are used to determine team rank for the Tour of Champions. The system utilizes the huge number of game results stored in the MaxPreps database. Generally, the more a team wins the higher the ranking, but the system takes into account quality wins (against other highly ranked opponents), margin of victory, and strength of schedule. Playoff games are weighted 2.1 times a regular season game.