Broughton’s top volleyball player will pay a visit to her former school in Tuesday’s fourth round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs.
Kalee Vanderhorst, who recently topped the 1,500-kill mark in her career moved to the Triangle from Greenville before her junior season after having spent two years at D.H. Conley. Undefeated Conley (24-0) hosts Broughton (21-1) at 6 p.m.
Broughton ends streak: Cardinal Gibbons won’t be winning the state championship this year. Broughton pulled out a dramatic 3-2 win over the Crusaders (11-25, 25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 15-10) on Saturday night.
Saturday’s loss means that Cardinal Gibbons’ run of seven consecutive state titles – six of which came at the 3A level – is now over. It is just the second time the Crusaders have lost in the NCHSAA playoffs since re-joining the association in 2005 (66-2 overall) and first time Gibbons (21-8) won’t be playing in the championship game.
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“I’m happy for our kids. Any match like that you always feel for the other team,” said Broughton coach Jim Freeman, who previously started the streak at Gibbons, where he coached from 1991-2009.
Louisburg taps into history: As the only person in school history to both coach and play in a state championship volleyball match, Louisburg coach Erica Wammock fully understands the lofty expectations that come with being a part of the tradition-rich program.
Wammock, a member of Louisburg’s 1998 state runner-up squad, returned to the school in the mid-2000s after graduating from East Carolina, and she guided the Warriors to another second-place state finish in 2007.
“There is a lot of pressure,’’ Wammock said. “Some of it is self-imposed, but when I played here, you won. It was that simple. You didn’t lose. If you did, it was terrible.’’
Louisburg, now 25-0 overall, will host Pamlico County Tuesday in the 1A quarterfinals.
Underdog: Franklinton, a six seed in 2A, is the only team seeded lower than fifth still standing in any of the East brackets. The Red Rams have a long trip to Currituck County on Tuesday after upsetting South Columbus on Saturday. Currituck ended defending 2A champion South Granville’s season on Saturday, winning 3-2.
Chapel Hill hits the road: Chapel Hill senior Kyra Crider had nine kills, while classmate Shea Golden added seven, as the Tigers (22-5) defeated C.B. Aycock to earn a fourth-round trip to top-seeded West Carteret.
Red-hot: Triton (19-4) has won 11 straight going into Tuesday’s road trip to Gray’s Creek despite having no one 5-foot-10 or taller.
“We’ve never had any height,” setter Leanna Parker said. “The five seniors on this team have been playing together since sixth grade, so we’ve always worked on defense and passing. But even though our front line is short, they hit well.”
Sanderson (14-10) had won eight of nine before falling 3-1 at Wilmington’s Hoggard High in the second round. Union Pines has won nine straight matches before falling to undefeated Gray’s Creek.
Making firsts: Rolesville made its first appearance in the state playoffs before bowing out with a 3-0 loss to Panther Creek in the first round, and Falls Lake Academy did the same before its 3-0 loss to Alleghany County. Northwood won its first playoff game ever, taking down Eastern Wayne 3-0 before falling 3-1 to top-seeded West Carteret.
Harnett Central, the lowest seed (11) to make it to the third round this year, lost 3-0 to Person in its first time making it that far. C.B. Aycock (18-8) also made the third round for the first time in school history before losing 3-0 to Chapel Hill.
“This was a great group of girls to take into battle,” Aycock coach Tangela Faulkner said. “We just struggled with serving and receiving tonight. We’ll just have to work even harder in the future.”
Princeton ousted: For the first time since 2010, Princeton won’t be in Tuesday’s fourth round of the 1A playoffs. The Bulldogs (15-7) lost 3-1 at Camden County (20-3) in the second round. The senior class of Kortney Edwards, Beth Braswell, Blake Hinnant, Erika Hines, Leah Narron and Daisy Eklund were part of an unforgettable run – 91-15 in the four years.
Western split: Five teams in The N&O area were split into the 1A West (after 64 teams qualify, the bracket is split East/West, so this fluctuates from year to year), but only Roxboro Community (23-3, 20-match win streak), a two seed, is still alive in Round 4. North Moore, Chatham Central and Falls Lake Academy lost in the first round and Voyager Academy fell in the second.