Dunham, Episcopal hosting volleyball tournaments this weekend _lowres

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Episcopal's Erika Grant sends the ball over her shoulders back to U-High on Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014 at Episcopal High School.

The Dunham Volleyball Classic and the 39th Episcopal Invitational volleyball tournament highlight the weekend sports schedule for local and area schools.

Pool play for the 18-team Dunham tourney begins Friday at 4 p.m. at the Team Sportsplex located on Perkins Road.

The eight-team Episcopal tourney begins at 9 a.m. Saturday.

The two tourneys come at a time when fall sports are at an important crossroads. Walker hosted the area’s last major cross country race before next month’s Metro Meet, and at the same time the Capital City Swim League held its final regular-season meets.

Getting the chance to host a late-season volleyball tournament was notable for both schools.

“We’ve got several good teams coming in so it would be hard to pick a favorite,” Dunham coach Donna Pixley said. “I know Hannan is good, and I’ve haven’t seen them, but I’ve heard good things about Pope John Paul II. Barbe also is a good team.

“Then locally you have U-High and Parkview Baptist. It gives everybody one more chance to see some teams they normally wouldn’t see. You’ll have teams from the same divisions playing each other too; so you could see some power rating shifts.”

Other local teams entered include Central, Denham Springs, Zachary, St. Michael, host Dunham, False River Academy, West Feliciana, East Ascension and Ascension Catholic.

Pool play starts at 12:30 p.m. Saturday for the Dunham tourney because of ACT testing in the morning.

Bracket playoffs start at 2:30 p.m. with the final scheduled for 7 p.m.

The Episcopal Invitational also is a breast cancer awareness fundraiser. Teams entered are host EHS, St. John-Plaquemine, East St. John, McKinley, Live Oak, Port Allen, Christian Life and Runnels.

Bracket playoffs start at noon Saturday with the final scheduled for 3:30 p.m.