19 Feb 2014

Three athletic programs—Asheville, Greensboro and North Wake—claimed a state title at 2013 NCHEAC Girls Volleyball tournaments held in Winston-Salem, October 18-19. East and West Regional tournaments were played on Friday at Piedmont International University (PIU) and at the Gateway YWCA. The top two finishers on Friday from each region’s divisions (middle school, junior varsity and varsity) advanced to play on Saturday in the state championship tournaments, which were held at Salem Baptist Christian School, and again at PIU.

There were a total of twenty-nine teams represented among the three divisions. The teams participating from the east were: Alamance, Cary, Durham, Fayetteville, Harnett, Johnston, North Wake and West Wake. Teams participating from the west were: Asheville, Cabarrus, Forsyth and Greensboro.

In the varsity division, the Asheville Trailblazers repeated as state champion for the third consecutive year, as they downed the up and coming West Wake Ravens, 3-0 (25-18, 25-20, 25-17). This was Asheville’s fifth state title in seven attempts. Asheville defeated the Cabarrus Stallions in the West Regional on Friday and then defeated the east’s number two seed, Alamance County Acers to get to the state title match. West Wake, the number one seed from the east, defeated the Acers and then the Stallions, to reach the title match. Asheville’s Emily Strange was named tournament MVP. Joining Strange on the all-tournament team were: from Asheville, Alex Arnette and Rachel Taylor; from West Wake, Kimberly Hovey and Serena Rezentes; Emily Hedrick (Alamance); Kayla Funderburk (Cabarrus); Shira Wells (North Wake); Christine Patterson (Fayetteville); Madison Long (Forsyth); Caroline Kelly (Cary); and Hannah Lawrence (Harnett).

In the junior varsity (JV) division, the Greensboro Panthers claimed their second state title as they rallied to defeat Asheville 2-1 (25-27; 25-10; 25-18). Greensboro also claimed the JV title in 2009. The Panthers defeated Asheville in the west regional on Friday and then downed the east’s number two seed, West Wake Ravens, before earning the rematch with Asheville for the state title. Asheville had won the last three state titles prior to this season. Asheville knocked off the east’s number one seed, North Wake Storm, to reach the state title contest. The Panther’s Maggie Richardson was named tournament MVP. Joining her on the all-tournament team were: from Greensboro, Victoria Goldin and Sarah Meiser; from Asheville, Ashley Downer and Rachel Mathis; Miciah Drane (West Wake); Kira Rosemond (North Wake); Emily Thomas (Fayetteville); Stormi Abernathy (Durham); Lexi Dupre (Cabarrus); Caroline Vaile (Forsyth); Emily Rexford (Harnett); Cornelia Barnwell (Alamance); Rebecca Sharrett (Johnston); and  Elizabeth Compton (Cary).

A new champion was crowned in the middle school division, as five-time defending champion Asheville was defeated by the North Wake Storm, 2-0 (25-17, 25-18) in the state title match. The Storm turned the tables this year, as both teams met in the title match in 2012. North Wake advanced to the title contest by defeating Johnston County in Friday’s east regional final, and then downing the west’s number two seed Forsyth Hawks in the state semi-final on Saturday. Asheville, reaching the title match for the sixth consecutive year, defeated Johnston County in the other semi-final. North Wake’s Brittany Stone earned MVP honors. Joining her on the all-tournament team were: Susan Conley and Shelby Cooper from North Wake; Sydney Howard and Lydia Jimison from Asheville; Emma Ferrell (Johnston); Jessie Malchuk (Forsyth); Katie Esses (Greensboro); Macenzie Desrosiers (Cabarrus); Kate Rezentes (West Wake); and Rachel Bramble (Cary).

Photo captions:
Banner: 2013 NCHEAC Varsity Girls Volleyball State Champions (Asheville Trailblazers) L to R: Brenda Watt (Coach), Katie Kania, Bethany Burnette, Marta Bloemsma, Rebekah Downer, Rachel Taylor, Gabie Marshall, Alex Arnette, Emily Strange (MVP) and Hope Burnett

Asheville’s Katie Kania high in action in the state semi-final vs. Alamance