Tall and talented, No. 1-ranked Carrboro rolled along to its 16th straight volleyball win last week, the Jaguars did more than just show some athletic flair and put up flashy numbers.
Carrboro showed workmanlike maturity with a 3-0 sweep of 4A East Chapel Hill, winning 25-15, 25-10 and 25-16 in a non-conference match on Wednesday night between the purple walls of the Jaguars’ gym.
“We have a mindset in practice we have to keep pushing,” said Grace Maggiore, a senior setter and team captain. “We have T-shirts we wear in practice that say ‘Play 31.’ That’s how many games we have to play (to win a state title).”
With Wednesday’s win against the No. 20-ranked Wildcats (8-7), the 2A Jaguars improved to 16-0. Carrboro has won 34 straight regular-season mathces and hasn’t lost to a regular-season match with a 2A team since a 3-1 loss at home to Cedar Ridge on Nov. 15, 2012.
Carrboro climbed to No. 1 a month ago after the Jaguars were the first Triangle team to defeat Cardinal Gibbons since 2012. Carrboro won that night with depth as well as talent. Maggiore missed the match, but junior Sarah Montross replaced her with strong play.
“I was so excited; Cardinal Gibbons is a great team,” Maggiore said. “Sarah is an awesome setter, and I totally had confidence she would hold up the team well.”
The Jaguars’ “Thunder and Lightning” pair of 6-foot-1 junior Destiny Cox and 5-10 senior Christine Alcox again led team against East Chapel Hill. The powerful Cox finished with 15 kills, and explosive Alcox added eight.
Carrboro’s 5-8 Maggiore totaled 18 assists. Freshman Destinee Dorsey contributed 10 digs. Maggiore recently committed to Franklin & Marshall, an NCAA Div. III school in Lancaster, Pa.
Carrboro Coach Steve Scanga explained he likes tough non-conference matches to prepare his team for the N.C. High School Athletic Association 2A state playoffs. The Jaguars receive little competition in the Mid-States 2A Conference.
“We take care of business and hopefully play our style of game,” he said. “We get excited for these matches. We get up for swings and blocks and receiving good hard serves.”
EAST CHAPEL HILL
The Wildcats of the PAC-6 lost to neighboring Carrboro for the third time this year. They were swept in their Wildcat Invitational, and they fell 3-1 in a Sept. 7 match at East Chapel Hill.
“It’s really good competition against them,” said veteran Wildcats Coach Michelle Wood. “You hope to learn something from playing good competition and get better from it. It helps you in your conference matches. You don’t get better playing weaker teams.
“They pass well – the passing was perfect. They have great setters, and their hitters hit the ball hard. We blocked better than we have in the past. But we didn’t pass well, and we weren’t smart in the second and third games.”
Zoe Dinkins, a 5-10 senior, led the Wildcats with four kills and three blocks.
THEY SAID IT
“East is one of those teams we play that we know we have to work hard to beat.” – Maggiore.