NCHSAA STATE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS FEATURE STRONG FIELD
RALEIGH – The 36th edition of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state volleyball championships is slated for Saturday at historic Reynolds Coliseum on the North Carolina State University campus.
The field of eight teams includes two unbeaten squads and several programs which have made multiple trips to the championships. All the state finalists earned regional championship victories on Tuesday night.
The opener of the quadruple header at noon is for the 3-A championship, with defending 3-A champion Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (21-3) taking on North Iredell (29-0) in a rematch of last year's final.
Gibbons returns to the championships for the seventh consecutive year (in two different classifications) and is led by Madison Bugg, the MVP of the last two 3-A championships. Bugg, who averages four kills a game, is headed to Stanford. North Iredell, which won the 2008 state title and lost to Gibbons last year, has a great all-around player in Brooke Redmond.
The 4-A final at 2:30 pits a couple of perennial powers, Wilmington Hoggard (22-3) against Charlotte Providence (27-2). Providence is back in the finals for the seventh time with a 4-2 mark in previous championships while Hoggard makes its fifth trip to the NCHSAA finals and is still looking for its initial state crown.
Hoggard, which has won 25 conference titles in volleyball in the last 31 years, ls led by seniors Kellie Esinhart and Jamie Jarrell. Casey Rieger and Megan Edwards top Providence in kills.
The 1-A championship at 5 pm is a battle between two schools in the finals for the first time, Durham's North Carolina School of Science and Math (18-7) against North Stokes (22-6). NCSSM started the season 0-5, with several losses to strong 4-A teams (including Hoggard) but has gotten hot at the right time. Seniors Miranda Clary and Ashton Boyles lead North Stokes.
The 2-A championship at 7:30 p.m. sends the undefeated Eagles of Elizabeth City Northeastern (22-0) into the championship for the second straight year, against the Lady Red Devils of Newton-Conover (28-5). Northeastern lost in the state finals last year to Boonville Starmount but has recorded a mark of 66-5 over the past three years. Newton-Conover has a core of five solid seniors and got excellent play from Isabella Zaliagiris and Corbin Evans in the regional victory over North Surry.
Time Warner Cable will be providing television coverage of all four state championships on Carolina On Demand, channels 199 or 1047, on Time Warner systems. The games will be available starting Sunday evening on Time Warner Cable systems statewide.
The Raleigh Sports Consortium, the City of Raleigh and the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau serve as host city sponsors for this event.
NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
36TH ANNUAL STATE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIIONSHIPS
Reynolds Coliseum, North Carolina State University
Saturday, November 5, 2011
CLASS AAA – noon
Cardinal Gibbons High School Crusaders (21-3) vs. North Iredell High School Raiders (29-0)
CLASS AAAA—2:30 pm
Wilmington Hoggard High School Vikings (22-3) vs. Charlotte Providence High School Panthers (27-2)
CLASS A – 5 pm
Durham North Carolina School of Science and Math Unicorns (18-7) vs. North Stokes High School Vikings (22-6)
CLASS AA – 7:30 pm
Elizabeth City Northeastern High School Eagles (22-0) vs. Newton-Conover High School Red Devils (28-5)