RALEIGH — Forgive Chapel Hill’s Tigers if they are a bit tired of seeing Cardinal Gibbons in the N.C. high school volleyball playoffs. The Crusaders were chasing another NCHSAA 3A championship this weekend after shutting out Big-8 Conference rival Chapel Hill 3-0 Tuesday night in the N.C. Eastern Regional final.
Gibbons also eliminated the Tigers from the playoffs the previous four years. During the 2013 regular season, Gibbons beat Chapel Hill twice this year.
“Cardinal Gibbons is just better than we are,” said Chapel Hill coach Sherry Norris.
“They’re more consistent. We were going to have to play this match with no errors. But in the first game, we never did get the ball to Perry Ramsey on the outside. She’s got more kills on our team than anyone, but we didn’t get it to her. Our blocking wasn’t effective tonight and that’s a tribute to them, because they’re a great team.”
The Tigers (22-9) have a proud volleyball tradition. Norris is North Carolina’s all-time leader in wins; she has led Chapel Hill teams to two state titles in volleyball and one in basketball.
“We’ve played them before and know they’re a great team and Sherry Norris is a great coach,” Gibbons coach Logan Barber said. “It wasn’t the cleanest match we’ve ever played, but we stuck to our game plan enough to get the points when it mattered to get the win.”
The Crusaders (27-0) were going for a record fifth-straight N.C. High School Athletic Association 3A title Saturday at N.C. State’s Reynolds Coliseum against China Grove’s Carson High School.
Towne takes 15th
In the NCHSAA golf championships, several area players finished in the top 20. Sarah Towne of East Chapel Hill shot rounds of 82-80 on Monday-Tuesday at Pinehurst No. 6 to finish 15th individually in the 4A tournament. Carolina O’Neill carded a 166 total at Foxfire to lead Cardinal Gibbons to fourth place as a team with her 12th-place individual finish.
Northwood had the next best team finish of any Carolina Central Golf Conference member – with Logan McLamroch (182), Kyndal Hutchinson (188) and Lauren Merrill (196) shooting the Chargers into seventh place in the 3A tournament.
Cross-country title on the line
Carrboro’s Maysa Araba and Helen Morken were among the favorites chasing titles Saturday in the N.C. High School Athletics Association state championships in cross-country. The 1A, 2A, 3A and 4A meets for boys and girls were scheduled for Kernersville for the fourth straight year – run at the Ivey M. Redmon Sports Complex, formerly known as Beeson Park.
Carrboro has won the last four women’s 2A championships, and Grace Morken of Carrboro led her team to victory in the last three finals. Even though Morken has graduated, Carrboro still dominated its 2-A Mideast Regional.