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CHAPEL HILL—The pairings are now set for the 30th annual edition of the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state volleyball championships, scheduled for Saturday at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.
Teams advanced to the state championship matches by winning regional finals on Tuesday night.
The four-game program will begin at noon on Saturday when the Titans of Heide Trask in Pender County (21-2) take on perennial power Hendersonville (24-5). Trask is making just its second appearance ever in the volleyball playoffs and first visit to a state final, while Hendersonville will be in the state championship for the ninth time and has six previous state titles, including four straight from 1997 through 2000.
Trask has a very well balanced team while the Lady Bearcats are young, with no seniors on the roster.
The 2-A matchup should be a great one between a pair of volleyball powers, Cardinal Gibbons of Raleigh (31-2) against two-time defending champion West Henderson (27-1).
Cardinal Gibbons is in its first year back in the NCHSAA after a very successful stint in the independent schools association in which it had a string of six straight state titles. The Crusaders’ Christina Falcone has rebounded from a torn ACL last year to set school career assist and aces records.
West Henderson is in the finals for the sixth time, with four previous NCHSAA crowns, and although Brooke Stanley was the only starter back for the Lady Falcons from last year’s state champions, they have had another great year.
At 5 p.m. the 3-A championship is scheduled, sending Greenville D.H. Conley (22-2) against Fred T. Foard (25-3) from Catawba County. Conley is making its sixth visit to the state championship match, with one previous title and four runner-up finishes, and the Vikings will send a young team out on Saturday with four sophomore starters.
Fred T. Foard has been perfect in previous state finals, with a 5-0 mark in championships and state crowns in 1995, ’96, ’97, 2002 and 2003. Jordan Ledford and Mai Zoua Lo, Foard teammates, were the co-Catawba Valley Athletic Conference Players of the Year this season.
Defending 4-A champion Charlotte Providence (26-0) will be seeking another crown in the final match of the day at 7:30 p.m., this time against the Rockets of Person (26-1). Person is making its first appearance ever in the state championships, although the Rockets are in the perennially tough PAC-6 Conference which produced state titlists in 2003 (Chapel Hill) and 2001 (Durham Riverside).
Providence earned state titles in 1996, 2002 and last year and has been dominant this season, losing only two games in its 26 matches to date. The Panthers are in their 17th consecutive trip to postseason play and have an outstanding record of 40-13 in playoff competition.
Admission for the championships is seven dollars.
30TH ANNUAL NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
STATE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
REYNOLDS COLISEUM, N.C. STATE UNIVERSITY
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2005
CLASS A – noon
HEIDE TRASK HIGH SCHOOL TITANS (21-2)
HENDERSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL LADY BEARCATS (24-5)
CLASS AA – 2:30 pm
CARDINAL GIBBONS HIGH SCHOOL CRUSADERS (31-2)
WEST HENDERSON HIGH SCHOOL LADY FALCONS (27-1)
CLASS AAA – 5 pm
D.H. CONLEY HIGH SCHOOL VIKINGS (22-2)
FRED T. FOARD HIGH SCHOOL LADY TIGERS (25-3)
CLASS AAAA—7:30 pm
PERSON HIGH SCHOOL ROCKETS (26-1)
PROVIDENCE HIGH SCHOOL PANTHERS (26-0)