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RALEIGH – The 33rd edition of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state volleyball championships are slated for Saturday at historic Reynolds Coliseum on the North Carolina State University campus.
This is one of the strongest fields ever in the NCHSAA volleyball finals as four teams are undefeated and two more have only a single loss.
The opener of the quadruple header is at noon for the 2-A crown with a couple of perennial state volleyball powers squaring off, both of whom have perfect records. Three-time defending 2-A champion Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (29-0) will take on West Henderson (25-0), led by veteran head coach Jan Stanley, the state’s all-time winningest coach in the sport.
Cayla Shortley and Molly Krull, who were co-Players of the Year in the Mid-State 1-A/2-A Conference, lead Gibbons. West Henderson, with four previous state titles and making their eighth trip to the finals, has a couple of strong hitters in Meredith Foster and Summer Kremer.
Gibbons defeated West Henderson in both the 2005 and ’06 championship.
The 2:30 match for the 3-A title sends defending state champ D.H. Conley (25-2), one of the two Greenville teams in the finals, against unbeaten North Iredell (25-0). All-around standout Kaitlin Anderson leads Conley, which is in the finals for the eighth time. North Iredell makes its first visit to the championships, and outside hitter Molly Rhyne had a big game for the veteran Raider team in its regional win over Hickory.
The 4-A battle at 5 p.m. will pit the other Greenville team, J.H. Rose (26-1), against undefeated Winston-Salem Mount Tabor (28-0). Both teams are looking for their initial NCHSAA volleyball championship, although Rose finished second in 2004.
Caroline Douglas and Emily Neideffer are excellent hitters for Rose while Mount Tabor counters with a veteran team, including nine seniors, and an top serving threat in Anna Logan.
Incidentally, Conley’s only losses on the year are to Rose and Rose’s only defeat came at the hands of D. H. Conley.
The final match of the day will be for the 1-A championship between Pender (22-3) and Swain County (29-1). Senior Cayla Crawley, with almost 400 kills on the season, leads Swain’s Lady Devils while Pender’s young squad (only one senior) looks for its first state crown in its fourth trip to the championship.
Time Warner Cable will be providing television coverage of all four state championships on Carolina On Demand, channel 1234 on Time Warner systems. The games will be available starting on the afternoon of Tuesday, November 4, on Time Warner Cable systems statewide.
Wendy’s is the presenting sponsors of the NCHSAA sports program. 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
33rd ANNUAL STATE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIIONSHIPS
Reynolds Coliseum, North Carolina State University
Saturday, November 1, 2008
2-A Championship, noon
Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons (29-0) vs. West Henderson (25-0)
3-A Championship, 2:30 pm
Greenville D.H. Conley (25-2) vs. North Iredell (25-0)
4-A Championship, 5 pm
Greenville J. H. Rose (26-1) vs. Winston-Salem Mount Tabor (28-0)
1-A Championship, 7:30 pm
Pender (22-3) vs. Swain County (29-1)