South Granville will return to the N.C. High School Athletics Association volleyball championship finals this weekend for the second time in three years after upsetting Carrboro 3-1 Tuesday night.
Seeded No. 4 in the NCHSAA’s eastern 2A region this year, South Granville defeated No. 2 Carrboro 19-25, 25-23, 25-18, 26-16, giving the Jaguars (27-2) their only loss at home this year.
“On the road, we have played really really well,” South Granville coach Christy Fitzgerald said. ‘It almost seems to give our players that sense of urgency that they need when they are on the road.”
South Granville (28-3) advanced to meet Hendersonville in the N.C. High School Athletics Association 2A championship match.
The Vikings previously reached the 2A final in 2012, when they fell to North Surry in the championship final.
Tuesday’s win was South Granville’s second straight road win against a higher seed and the Vikings’ 16th consecutive win overall. South Granville, 12-1 on the road this season, reached Tuesday’s 2A East Region final by upsetting No. 1 seeded Croatan 3-2 last Saturday in Newport.
“That win gave us confidence,” Fitzgerald said. “But we play a tough non-conference schedule — teams like Riverside, Person and Webb. We prepare for this the entire season.
“Croatan is a great team. Carrboro has an awesome reputation and an awesome team. We’ve prepared for that.”
Former conference rivals in the old Carolina-12, Carrboro and South Granville had not met since 2012, when the Vikings swept the Jaguars twice in league matches.
The Vikings became the first team in 19 matches this year to win a set against Carrboro, which had swept 18 straight matches by 3-0 scores since a 3-1 win Sept. 8 against 3A Cedar Ridge.
“We got beat by a team that played better than we did,” Carrboro coach Steve Scanga said.
“I’ve said all season that, if we bring our best game, we will be hard to beat. That was true tonight. … The other team just played better.”
Carrboro won eight of the first set’s last 10 points and was leading 23-20 in the second before Vikings libero Karlee Michalina served out the last five points. She did the same thing in the third set, turning a 20-18 Viking lead into a 25-18 win.
The night’s fourth set was Carrboro’s most lopsided lost game of the season, matching a 25-16 loss in game two of a 3-2 victory over 4A East Chapel Hill on Sept. 4.
“We have two seniors (Olivia Meyer-Massey and Kelsey Smith) on the team this year, so we are very young,” Scanga said. “We will be back next year with as much power if not more.”