Louisburg had hoped this was the year. The tradition-rich volleyball program had brought its perfect record, championship pedigree and talented class of seniors to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A title match on Saturday at Reynolds Coliseum.
But it just wasn’t the Warriors’ year.
Louisburg was swept 3-0 (25-18, 25-11, 25-18) by Community School of Davidson (28-1) to finish runner-up for the third time since winning back-to-back titles in 1988 and 1989.
Coach Erica Wammock, a coach for two of those runner-up finishes and a player for the other, watched her Warriors (27-1) battle back just to win the 1A East final against Williamston’s Riverside 3-1 after dropping the first set.
But no such comeback was in the cards against CSD, whose only loss this year came to a large out-of-state school (Fort Mill High in South Carolina).
“Even when we could get our passes to our sets and our sets to our hitters, we just couldn’t get around their block,” Wammock said. “They were a lot taller than us and we just couldn’t get around it. Anything we tried to change up, they had an answer for it.”
Louisburg boasted six seniors on this year’s team, and all of them have been on the varsity all four years: Haley Marshall, Amber Newton, Sarah Foster, Hannah Nobles, Mackenzie Wood and Summer Phillips.
When they told Wammock they wanted to win a state title at the beginning of the season, she believed them and was later proven right for doing so. Louisburg even beat Franklinton, a 2A school that made the fourth round of its playoffs, twice this season.
“When I came in as a freshman, I would have never thought that I would be sitting here or even be playing in a state championship. I’m honored to even step foot on the N.C. State court and be able to play,” Wood said. “I think we could’ve handled that game better, but I’m a senior, and I’m graduating this year, and I couldn’t ask for a better way to end my career.”