RALEIGH — Raleigh Charter entered Saturday’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A volleyball championship as a first-time finalist facing a perennial power.
The Phoenix kept it close in each set against Hendersonville (21-6), but were swept as the Bearcats won their tenth state championship in 12 appearances -- both NCHSAA records.
Raleigh Charter (22-8) was overpowered at the net as it fell 25-20, 25-22 and 25-20 at Reynolds Coliseum.
Hendersonville’s championship MVP Hailey Cook, standing 6’2, was easily the strongest hitter the players had seen this year, said senior middle hitter Lindsey Suttle.
Coach Mary Wands added that the Bearcats were just as good as the 4A teams Raleigh Charter faced at the beginning of the season, and in the end, she was happy with the team’s effort.
“It’s the little stuff, and when you’re right there at the end, it’s going to come back to putting a couple of serves in that you missed or executing something better,” Wands said.. “I think probably nerves are a big factor wen you’re playing in a game like this. ... I think overall the scores were close enough that I can say they really fought.”
Clara Leonard led the Phoenix with nine kills, Abby Keller had 12 assists and Grace Irvin had 15 digs.