Ravenscroft got an early look at its league competition last weekend. And if the Ravens' outcome at the Volley with the Knights tournament is any indication, they should fare well in Triangle Independent Schools Athletic Conference play this season.
Ravenscroft won the tournament hosted by North Raleigh Christian, topping conference rival Cary Academy in two sets in the final match Sunday.
“It was special, and we beat another conference opponent on the way as well, in St. Mary’s,” Ravenscroft coach Elizabeth Ledford said. “Our conference play starts this week, so it’s nice to have some validation that we’re competing well in our conference, and I think that will help ... from a confidence standpoint.”
The Ravens went undefeated during the two-day tournament that featured 19 teams from across the state.
Cary Academy had battled its way to the championship match by forcing and winning a tiebreaker against High Point Wesleyan Christian. But Cary was unable to make a surge against the Ravens, which was led by all-tournament selections in senior setter Morgan McCreedy (20 assists) and junior hitter Erin Kelly (six kills).
The Cary Chargers came into the second day of the tournament seeded No. 6 after pool play Friday.
Cary Academy coach Melanie Bryant said every team has a shot at winning once bracket play starts.
“We had some good moments and some not-so-good moments,” Bryant said of the championship match. “We definitely got outplayed; I say we got out-toughed because everyone here is physically tired. They just pushed through it better than we did.”
During the Chargers’ climb to the finals match, Bryant finally saw her team click; it was something she had been waiting to see this season.
“I think we finally got to that point, so they showed what they’re capable of – so expectations are a lot higher,” she said. “Expectations are that they play at the level for the rest of the season.”
Cary Academy was led by setter Hannah Robinson (11 assists, five kills) and Moriah Smith (11 kills, five assists), but the Chargers fell 25-18 in each set.
“Cary has always been a really big rival for us,” McCreedy said. “We have a lot of friends on that team actually, so beating them feels really good. We usually lose to them, so to go out there and beat them in two this year is awesome. And they’re in our conference, so I think that says a lot about how we’re going to do the rest of the season because we’re definitely going to see them again.”
The teams split their conference meetings last year, but Cary Academy has won seven of the last eight TISAC matches between the teams.
Both teams began league play Tuesday. Ravenscroft will host Cary Academy on Sept. 20.