2021 NCHSAA Volleyball Championships

2021 2A Volleyball State Championship Recap | SW Randolph rolls past Camden behind Shiflet sisters and solid defense


RALEIGH, NC – Southwestern Randolph used airtight defense and 31 digs from 2A Match MVP Coley Shiflet to down previously undefeated Camden three sets to one on the way to the school’s third State Volleyball Championship. The title was the Cougars first state title since a pair of back-to-back State Championships in 1991 and 1992. 

The first set was highlighted by a four point run for SW Randolph including a block by Molly Strider and Josie Allred stretched lead to 14-9 and forcing a timeout. Camden stopped the momentum briefly, but the Cougars found their stride again, feeding Payton Shiflet who had two straight kills, one on a change-up tip and the other on a powerful slam to stretch the first set advantage out to 20-12. Peyton Shiflet finished the match with 12 kills on 48 attacks. After a timeout by Camden, the Cougars ran off four more straight points, arriving at set point with another pair of Shiflet kills and a 24-12 lead. After a nice block from Camden’s Carlyn Tanis to give the Bruins a point, Shiflet slammed home a ball near the right line to take the set 25-13.

Camden regrouped after the first set, opening the second frame in stellar fashion with five straight points, organizing a stronger block and making Peyton Shiflet’s attacks slightly more challenging. The Bruins block earned them a fourth straight point and some momentum when Tessa Forehand jammed a Cougar attack into the ground to make the score 10-5 and force a SW Randolph timeout. 

With some wide attacks by SW Randolph and a big swinging kill by Tanis, the Bruins stretched their lead to 18-11 and forced another Cougar timeout. Camden’s Forehand jammed a kill through the Cougar block before tipping one down to make it 20-12. Camden kept pouring the pressure on in the second set as Sam Smith’s ace made it 21-12 in favor of Camden before the Bruins took the set 25-18.

Southwestern Randolph established momentum early in the third set, serving off the first five points of the set. The Cougars continued a powerful attack after the timeout, forcing the Bruins back on their heels and running out to a 13-5 advantage before the second Camden timeout of the set. Josie Allred notched a couple of kills late in the set to push the Cougar advantage out to 20-9 before a hard-fought rally by Camden drew the Bruins within three at 22-19. Southwestern managed to grind out the remainder of the third set 25-20 with freshman Riley Key slamming the final point of the set down to go up 2 sets to 1.

The Cougars charged out to a 11-4 lead to open the fourth set turning the pressure even higher on Camden with their backs against the wall. Despite big swings by McKayla Knauss, Tanis and Forehand, Camden couldn’t find very many holes in the Southwestern defense early in the set. However, the Bruins managed to trim the Cougar lead to 13-10 before a Southwestern timeout. Out of the timeout, Knauss slipped a ball off the tape and down on the line for a point to drop the lead to 13-11. 

That would be as close as Camden could draw because despite crushing attacks by the Bruins, Cougar libero, Coley Shiflet, continued to slide, dive, and otherwise dig balls off the ground, inspiring her teammates efforts with 31 digs in the match on her way to being named the 2A Most Valuable Player. Shiflet and the Cougars challenged Camden at the net and ran off seven of the next 8 points to take a commanding 20-12 lead before finishing the match with a 25-18 fourth set victory.

Camden concluded the season 27-1 on the year. The Bruins were 14-0 in the Northeastern Coastal 2A/3A where they won the league title. Camden won the Eastern Regional Championship advancing to the State Championship Match for the first time in program history.

Southwestern Randolph was 28-5 during the season, finishing 12-0 as champions of the Piedmont Athletic 1A/2A. The Cougars won the program’s third regional championship and third state title. 

The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to recognize two student-athletes from each State Championship that have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during the season. The 2A Volleyball NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners were Kenison Parker from Camden County and Molly Strider from Southwestern Randolph.


2021 2A Volleyball State Championship

                                                                       1          2          3          4          5

Southwestern Randolph (27-5)                    25        18        25        25         X

Camden County (27-0)                                 13        25        20        18         X

3A Volleyball State Championship Recap | Cedar Ridge captures first state title with four-set victory over North Iredell


RALEIGH, NC – Cedar Ridge power hitters proved to be too tough in the 3A State Championship Match, lifting the Red Wolves to a 3-1 victory over North Iredell and the school’s first volleyball State Championship. The Red Wolves were led by Cameron Lloyd who slammed down 14 kills and added a block and 12 digs on her way to being name the 3A Championship MVP.

North Iredell started the match in dominating fashion as the Raiders reeled off the first five points of the match before the Red Wolves scratched out a trio of points including a pair of service aces by Julie Altieri. Graylinn Serge struck for the third ace of the set to bring Cedar Ridge within one at 9-8 before the Red Wolves set up a big swing in the middle from Addie Reid to tie things at nine. Serge’s ace ignited a momentum change that saw Cedar Ridge rip off ten-straight points and take a 16-9 lead in the set. North Iredell managed to regroup and draw within two in the set after the run, but Cedar Ridge had built too large an advantage to overcome, taking the opening set 25-20.

The second set was a back-and-forth affair for the first 20 points, with the two teams knotted at 10-a-piece. Cedar Ridge reeled off three straight points, punctuated by a drive off the fist of junior Anaya Carter to take a 13-10 lead and force a Radiers timeout. The timeout successfully stemmed the tide, and North Iredell capitalized with the next three straight to tie the set at 13. The set was also tied at 15 and 17 before North Iredell was able to scrap their way to five straight points and a 23-18 lead. The Raiders knotted the match up at a set-a-piece with a 25-19 second set victory.

Cedar Ridge used a 4-0 run in the middle of the third set to surge into the lead 11-9. Reid pounded a ball down from a right-side set and lifted the Red Wolves to a two-point lead. After a timeout by the Raiders, Cedar Ridge served a ball into the net and the Raiders briefly stemmed the tide, battling back to tie things up at 13 before the two teams traded the lead back-and-forth with neither team leading by more than two for the remainder of the set. 

The set was tied late at 13, 15, 18, 20 and 22 with the Cedar Ridge power hitters ultimately helping the Red Wolves prevail. Cameron Lanier slammed a ball in the middle of the Raider back line to put the Red Wolves up 23-22 before an attack error by North Iredell gave the Red Wolves a set point at 24-22. Cedar Ridge got the ball down on set point to take a 25-22 third set victory and two sets to one lead in the match.

In the fourth, Cedar Ridge rallied early, establishing a 6-2 lead as Lanier swung the Red Wolves to the lead ahead of the first timeout of the set by North Iredell. Cedar Ridge extended the lead to 13-8 on a diving dig by Grace Young that cleared the net and found the floor on the other side, sending the Cedar Ridge crowd and team into a frenzy. The Red Wolves added the next two point, stretching the lead to 15-8 and getting the Raiders to call at timeout to regroup. Out of the timeout, Cameron Lloyd knocked down the next two points on right-handed swings for Cedar Ridge to take a 17-8 lead. Lloyd tipped another shot down at 19-10 before serving to help Cedar Ridge out to a 21-10 advantage on an ace off the tape. The Red Wolves held on for a 25-16 fourth set win and state title.

North Iredell finished the season 26-2. The Raiders were 13-1 in the Western Foothills 3A where they won the league title. The Raiders won the program’s fifth regional title, advancing to the state championship for the fifth time in program history.

Cedar Ridge finished the season 31-2, winning the Central 3A with a record of 12-0. The Red Wolves advanced to the State Championship for the first time in program history after the first Regional Title in volleyball.

The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to recognize two student-athletes from each State Championship that have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during the season. The 2A Volleyball NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners were Grace Young from Cedar Ridge and Brianna Gibson from North Iredell.


2021 3A Volleyball State Championship

                                                                       1           2          3          4         5

Cedar Ridge (30-2)                                        25          19        25        25       X

North Iredell (26-1)                                       20          25        22        16       X

4A Volleyball State Championship Recap | Green Level wins first state title in school history with dominating sweep of Ardrey Kell


RALEIGH, NC – The Green Level Gators would not be denied, dominating Ardrey Kell in a three-set sweep to claim the school’s first state championship in any athletic event. The three-year-old school sent its first senior class in school history off with a bang, as Ellie Sampson led a powerful attack for Green Level, slamming down 12 kills in the match and adding a block and 15 digs on her way to MVP honors in the match.

Green Level stormed out of the gates in the opening set, winning nine of the first 10 points, as Ardrey Kell struggled to find a rhythm and the Gators opened up a 9-1 advantage. The Gators continued the barrage until Ardrey Kell called their second timeout of the set at 16-5 to try and regroup from the powerful Gators offensive showing. Ava Toppin powered the ball into the court on a beautiful set to put Green Level up 20-8 before her turn on the service line. Morgan Downs added to the crushing power display with a right-handed blast to go up 22-9. Ellie Sampson finished the set off with a hard kill down the right line to close it out 25-9.

The second set started off looking good for Green Level again as Olivia Hummel’s opening serve clipped the tape and fell in for an ace. Ardrey Kell responded quickly, however, rolling the next three points including a nice block at the net for a point by Alexis Shelton. The three-point swing helped Ardrey Kell to settle into the match and the two teams battled at the net with Shelton, Kailey Keough and the Knights dueling with Toppin, Sampson, and Hummell throughout the set. 

At nine all in the set, Alexis Shelton rotated to the back row for the Knights and that helped open some lanes for the Gators attack, stretching a lead out to 15-11 before Shelton rotated back to an attacking position. In the latter portion of the set, three net violations on the Knights helped cement a second set victory for Green Level, 25-19, pushing Ardrey Kell to the brink of elimination.

The Gators picked up right where they left off in the third set. Green Level won four of the first five points with the fourth of those points coming on a block/kill at the net by Morgan Downs. Sampson and Downs added back-to-back kills to help the Gators pull out to a 7-2 lead ahead of Ardrey Kell’s first timeout of the set. Sampson found a sweet spot on the right front side, slamming several kills down to stretch the Green Level lead to 12-5 ahead of Ardrey Kell’s final timeout of the set. The momentum established by the Gator attack was simply too strong to overcome, as Green Level kept pounding hard swings at the Knights defense on their way to a 25-12 set win and match sweep. 

Ardrey Kell finished the season 31-2, the Knights won the So Meck 4A Conference title and advanced to the State Title Game for the second time in three years. 

Green Level finished the season 27-1. The Gators were 13-1, winning the Southwest Wake 4A Conference title. They won the school’s first regional and state championships in any sport.

The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to recognize two student-athletes from each State Championship that have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during the season. The 4A Volleyball NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners were Lizzie Boggess from Green Level and Meniya Person from Ardrey Kell.


2021 4A Volleyball State Championship

                                                                       1          2          3          4          5

Green Level (27-1)                                        25        25        25         X          X

Ardrey Kell (31-2)                                           9         19        12         X          X

1A Volleyball State Championship Recap | Union Academy storms back to take down Neuse Charter in four sets


RALEIGH, NC – Union Academy captured the program’s first volleyball State Championship, coming from down a set to knock out Neuse Charter 3-1 in the 1A State Championship Game. The Cardinals’ Anna Ungerer played an exceptional match, finishing with 21 kills, 3 aces, 19 digs, and earning MVP honors for the match. 

The first set started out evenly, but a few errors and couple of Neuse Charter kills, particularly one from Julia Bridges on a misplayed first ball by the Cardinals at 12-7, helped the Cougars stretch out a comfortable lead in the first set, eventually getting to a seven-point advantage at 14-7. 

After a diving one-armed dig on the last ball over, Bridges rose to drive a set ball down the left line and give the Cougars an 18-11 lead, staving off some momentum from Union Academy trying to mount a charge in the set. However, with set point looming, the Cardinals reeled off four straight points to close the gap to 24-21, but Bridges slammed one down the left line to close it for Neuse Charter.

Union Academy took command of the second set winning five of six consecutive points early in the set to go up 8-4 and force a Cougar timeout. Out of the timeout, Union Academy continued the pressure, adding two points on a net violation and a powerful kill by Brooklyn Calkins to go up 10-4. Harper Flowers helped stem some momentum, blocking a pair of shots down for the Cougars to trim the Cardinal lead to 11-7. 

With the second set transitioning to latter stages at 15-10, Neuse Charter won a long rally on a scrambling play before Bridges pounded one off the Union Academy block and out to trim the lead to 15-11. The Cardinals took the next two points on Cougar errors, forcing a timeout at 17-11 to try and pause the momentum building for Union Academy. Despite the timeout, the Cardinals kept the pedal down, extending their lead to 21-14 before the Cougars mounted a mini-rally off of two Cardinals errors to knock the lead down to five. That was as close as Neuse Charter could come, as Union Academy tripped off two straight points and melted away the final few points for a 25-17 set win as Ryleigh Clayborn slammed a kill to the deck to end the set and even the match at a set-a-piece. 

Union Academy picked up right where they left off in the third set with Clayborn powering a spike to the floor to go up 1-0 followed by a shot off the block by Gabriela Gama to make it 2-0. The Cardinals kept hammering away with Calkins and Clayborn keeping Neuse Charter off balance, stretching the lead out to 10-3 before a timeout by Neuse Charter. Out of the timeout, the Cardinals enjoyed a few points off Neuse Charter errors to go up 16-3, shifting the full momentum of the match into their favor, running off to a 25-11 set win and a two set to one lead in the match.

The fourth set started off with a Union Academy kill off the hand of junior Lauren Munday followed by a service ace from Gama. Then Clayborn powered a middle hit to the deck to go up 3-0. Neuse responded with a slam by Harper Flowers to trim the lead to 3-1 and down to one on an attacking error by the Cardinals.  Neuse Charter knotted the set at 4 with a kill off the block by Bridges. 

The two teams scrapped back and forth with ties at 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8-all, each team experiencing leads throughout the stretch. The Cougars surrendered a pair of points on double-hits, giving the Cardinals a 10-8 lead in the set, before Union Academy pushed the lead out to 13-9 on a 3-0 run. The Cardinals edged out to a seven-point lead with an ace by Anna Ungerer that made it 19-12 and forced a Cougar timeout as their hopes started to wane. The Cardinals finished it off with a flourish to close the set 25-18.

Neuse Charter finished their season 26-3. The Cougars wrapped up the conference season 10-0, champions of the Carolina 1A. They won the program’s first regional championship, appearing in the State Championship Match for the first time in school history in any program. 

Union Academy posted a 27-2 season record on the season, winning the Yadkin Valley 1A/2A Conference. The Cardinals appeared in the school’s first Volleyball State Championship Match after winning the Western Regional Title for the first time in program history. 

The NCHSAA is committed to promoting good sportsmanship and has partnered with the NC Farm Bureau to recognize two student-athletes from each State Championship that have demonstrated outstanding sportsmanship during the season. The 1A Volleyball NC Farm Bureau Sportsmanship Award winners were Julia Bridges from Neuse Charter and Gabriela Gama from Union Academy.

2021 1A Volleyball State Championship

                                                                       1          2          3          4          5

Neuse Charter (26-3)                                    25        17        11        18         X

Union Academy (27-2)                                  20        25        25        25         X