As great as Saturday must have been for the Lady Purple Hurricanes -- who beat Drew in three sets in front of their own fans -- today's match will actually be more of a return to normalcy for the team, which has played just four home dates this season compared to 12 on the road.
"The majority of our games this year have been on the road," Cartersville coach Scott Busby said. "We've played in some where the gyms were empty, we've played in some where the gyms were irate.
"The girls are used to just about any type of situation we could see, so I don't feel that playing away is going to affect the outcome of the game," added Busby of his team's impending three-hour drive.
More important, the coach said, may be how the Lady Canes deal with an ever-improving team that boasts two towers who could influence how they attack on offense.
"From the research I have on that team, it's a team that has two big middles -- they've got two 6-foot-plus girls starting out of the middle," Busby revealed. "Right now, our main goal is going to be to keep the ball away from their strengths, so we'll work on that ... practicing with serve, ball control and trying to dictate how the game will be played.
"Outside of that, we're going to have to serve tougher than we did and more consistently than we did Saturday to beat this team."
The Lady Warriors aren't unlike Cartersville, which has just four seniors on its roster.
"They're a young team as well," Busby said. "I think they have two seniors and, from what I understand, they've only gotten better as the year's gone (on). ... We have to do what we can do and, hopefully, take them out of their game."
The Lady Canes (19-14), who have also gotten better after an 0-7 start, have pleased their coach with their recent play.
"(I'm) extremely happy with the way we're playing right now," Busby said. "We had our expectations and we had our goals at the start of the year but, at the same time, we knew it was a young team and we knew there was going to be a big learning curve. Our freshmen players have come around and even this past Saturday, although they didn't carry the team, offensively the stats showed that they did -- although there were six or seven players that really had to chip in to make all of that happen."
Cartersville stands a round from its highest finish -- the Elite 8 -- which has happened four times, according to Busby.
Now, the Lady Canes -- a No. 2 seed out of Area 6-AAA -- must defeat Area 3-AAA's No. 1 seed to make it to the state quarterfinals again.
"We're definitely the underdog going in but if you look at the strength of our schedule that we played throughout the whole year, we're the underdog most of the year. So our girls will have the same mentality they've always had: They go in, they play their game and they don't worry about it," Busby said.
"I think (being the underdog) benefits us because (our players) will be relaxed. I don't think the pressure will get to 'em, I don't think the fact we're the underdogs will get to 'em. ... We'll go out, play loose (and) hopefully pick up a win."