Cardinal Gibbons beats Chapel Hill, advances to volleyball title

CorrespondentOctober 29, 2013 

— Winning championships never gets old for Cardinal Gibbons volleyball. The Crusaders will have another shot at a state title Saturday after blanking Big Eight 3A Conference rival Chapel Hill 3-0 Tuesday night in the N.C. Eastern Regional final.

The Crusaders will be going for a record fifth straight N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A title at N.C. State’s Reynolds Coliseum at 5 p.m. against Carson.

Gibbons (27-0), coached by Logan Barber, eliminated a foe it was very familiar with in Chapel Hill.

The Tigers (22-9) also have a proud volleyball tradition. Coach Sherry Norris is the state leader in wins and has led her team to two state titles in volleyball and one in basketball. Gibbons also eliminated the Tigers from the playoffs the previous four years. During the regular season, Gibbons beat Chapel Hill twice this year.

“Cardinal Gibbons is just better than we are,” said Norris. “They’re more consistent. We were going to have to play this match with no errors. But in the first game we never did get the ball to Perry Ramsey on the outside. She’s got more kills on our team than anyone, but we didn’t get it to her. Our blocking wasn’t effective tonight and that’s a tribute to them, because they’re a great team.”

Sophomore hitter Briley Brind’Amour helped Gibbons jump ahead early in the first game and, after Chapel Hill tied the score at 5-5, she scored again and the Crusaders led the rest of the way for a 25-17 decision in the first set.

The Crusaders led the whole way in the last two sets, winning 25-10 and 25-17.

“We’ve played them before and know they’re a great team and Sherry Norris is a great coach,” Barber said. “It wasn’t the cleanest match we’ve ever played, but we stuck to our game plan enough to get the points when it mattered to get the win.”

Barber said this team is a little different from last year’s edition.

“This group in particular, rather than having a star player, this is a real team effort. Briley Brind’Amour and Amy Robertson did a great job on the outside, but everyone has to be successful. We need Bianca Gartner and our setters Cheyenne Wood and Erin Quinn to have a great game passing the ball for us to be successful.”

Barber said his team does not take winning for granted, that playing for championships keeps it motivated.

“The true story is every year this is one of these girls’ first chance and every year this is one of these girls’ last chance, so they’re not looking past any one of them,” Barber said.

“We know we’re getting every team’s best shot every time we play them,” said Quinn, a senior and two-year starter. “Every team wants to say that they beat Cardinal Gibbons, but we find a way to get there step by step every year and winning the state championship is a goal we have every year. It would be a great way to go out.”

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