RALEIGH — Anna Grace Patrick watched the last Apex senior class graduate with four conference championships. The class before them had as well.
“I always wanted that,” Patrick, a junior, said. “Just getting one step closer to doing that, after this year, is great.”
After securing a 25-16, 25-23, 25-16 sweep of Athens Drive on Tuesday, the Cougars have at least a share of their sixth straight conference title. The 2011 team shared the conference title with Green Hope, but the only way Apex will share the Southwest Wake Athletic (4A) Conference championship this year is if it loses out and Holly Springs (6-4 in league play) wins out.
The Cougars, No. 2 in the News & Observer rankings, can claim it outright by beating Cary (0-10 in SWAC) on Thursday or any of the four SWAC games left this year.
Apex was led in kills by Bri Belicic (13), Ally Beckman (eight) and Patrick (seven). They helped the Cougars avoid their third straight five-game match.
Coach Emily Regan gave the team a little motivation in that regard.
“She said if we were going to five sets we were running a mile, so that was a little bit of an incentive to beat (Athens),” Patrick said.
Athens Drive (9-7, 6-4) is 14th in the News & Observer rankings. The Jaguars are tied with Holly Springs and Fuquay-Varina for second in the SWAC.
Senior middle blocker Rachel Kinsey led the Jags with 14 kills and three blocks.
“We tried to get one-on-one blockers,” Regan said, to avoid Kinsey in the third game.
Blake: 919-460-2606; Twitter: @JMBpreps