CHAPEL HILL—The pairings are now set for the 31st 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, and two of the four championships are actually rematches of 2005 title battles.
The four-game program will begin at noon on Saturday with one of those rematches, as defending 4-A champion Charlotte Providence (27-1) takes on the Rockets of Person (26-1). Person is riding a 24-match winning streak, with its only loss on the season to 2-A powerhouse Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons.
PAC-Six Player of the Year Amanda Robertson will lead Person against Providence, which is 4-0 in previous state title matches, including crowns in 1996, 2002, 2004 and’05. Providence has an outstanding 46-13 all-time record in NCHSAA postseason play.
The other repeat of a 2005 final is the 5 p.m. match for the 2-A crown, and it promises to be terrific as defending champ Cardinal Gibbons (28-4) takes on unbeaten West Henderson (26-0).
West, led by seniors Brooke Stanley, Lindsey Pate and Mary Youngblood, has won four previous state crowns and beat Cardinal Gibbons in an early-season tournament. West is also dedicating its season to teammate Sarah Hyatt. She is still listed on the roster but was paralyzed in an automobile accident.
Gibbons has three players, including Vanessa Dorismond (Georgetown), Caroline Hammersley (Campbell) and Ginny Phillips (College of Charleston) who have committed to further their playing careers at NCAA Division I programs.
The 1-A championship is scheduled for 2:30 and will send Pender (26-2) against perennial power and defending 1-A champ Hendersonville (24-4). Pender is making its first appearance in the finals since 2003 and is looking for its initial state crown in the sport, while Hendersonville will be in the finals for the 10th time and the Lady Bearcats have seven previous state titles.
Hendersonville junior Bailey Hunter was the MVP of last year’s championship match.
The final match of the night is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start as the Warriors of Oxford Webb (21-5) take on Southwest Guilford’s Cowgirls (26-1) in the 3-A final. Webb is making its first trip to an NCHSAA volleyball championship and is sparked by captain Carly Cash. Southwest Guilford, winner of 25 straight, is in the finals for the fourth time, with a 1-2 mark in previous championship matches.
Admission to the state finals will be seven dollars at the door. Wendy’s and the Carolina Ford Dealers are 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 the event.
31st ANNUAL NORTH CAROLINA HIGH SCHOOL ATHLETIC ASSOCIATION
STATE VOLLEYBALL CHAMPIONSHIPS
REYNOLDS COLISEUM, N.C. STATE UNIVERSITY
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 2006
PERSON HIGH SCHOOL ROCKETS (26-1)
PROVIDENCE HIGH SCHOOL PANTHERS (27-1)
CLASS A – 2:30 pm
PENDER HIGH SCHOOL PATRIOTS (26-2)
HENDERSONVILLE HIGH SCHOOL LADY BEARCATS (24-4)
CLASS AA – 5 pm
CARDINAL GIBBONS HIGH SCHOOL CRUSADERS (28-4)
WEST HENDERSON HIGH SCHOOL LADY FALCONS (26-0)
CLASS AAA – 7:30 pm
J.H. WEBB HIGH SCHOOL WARRIORS (21-6)
SOUTHWEST GUILFORD HIGH SCHOOL COWGIRLS (26-1)