Volleyball championships are old hat for Hendersonville High School.
The Bearcats (27-2) won their third straight NCHSAA 2A volleyball championship with a straight-sets match over South Granville (28-4) Saturday at N.C. State’s Reynolds Coliseum.
Hendersonville’s 12th title (12-2) makes it the winningest volleyball team in NCHSAA history.
“We had a lot of pressure coming in after winning two in a row, and the third is icing on the cake,” Hendersonville coach Erica Cantrell said. “They have played as a team throughout the whole year, and we do well under pressure. That’s when they play their best.”
The Bearcats took the first set 25-17 after leading from start to finish. But it was the second that had fans on the edge of their seats.
South Granville, riding a 16-match win streak and its second championship appearance in three years, settled down and upped its offensive aggressiveness.
The Vikings jumped out to a 3-0 lead and built it to as many as seven points several times throughout the match. But the Bearcats, behind the powerful serves of junior Kara Menck and sophomore Cyrena Bedoian, steadily chipped away at South Granville’s lead.
Hendersonville closed a five-point game to two off Menck’s serve and tied it up at 22-all on Sydney Gilliam’s kill.
The teams went back and forth, breaking each other’s serve until Hendersonville broke a 26-all tie with the final two points for a 28-26 set win.
The third set was all Bearcats, as South Granville was overpowered for a 25-12 third-set victory and the title.
“We had a fantastic year, and I’m so proud of this team,” South Granville coach Christy Fitzgerald said. “Today was the most nerves I’ve ever seen from my girls. But Hendersonville is a good team. Definitely the quickest offense we’ve ever come across.”
Hendersonville’s Cassie Born was named the game’s most valuable player.