After falling to the Northwestern Trojans earlier in the season, the coaching staff for the Catawba Ridge volleyball team did their homework.
The result was a 3-0 sweep Thursday in the Arena to win a share of the Region 3-4A title and take the number one seed coming out of the region. Catawba Ridge lost to Northwestern in five sets earlier in the season, but won Thursday 25-23, 25-23, 25-16 beating them in less sets than they lost in which should clinch the top seed for the Copperheads. This is Catawba Ridge’s second consecutive region title in the sport.
Copperheads head coach Alicia Lisee said she wasn’t surprised at how well her team did on senior night.
“If anything, it made them even more buy in,” Lisee said. “They wanted to do great on senior night. They wanted to do it for their teammates. We prepared for this.”
Against Northwestern Thursday, the Trojans opened every set going up early, but Catawba Ridge battled back to quickly get an advantage. In the opening set, Northwestern went up 6-3, but five points later it was tied at 7-7. Northwestern again pulled ahead by four, but the Copperheads again rallied to tie it at 12-12. After a Catawba Ridge timeout trailing 18-14, the Copperheads rallied to tie the set at 22-22, before scoring three of the last four points to take the opening set.
The second set started much like the first with the Trojans striking first, but it wasn’t long before Catawba Ridge led 10-5 forcing Northwestern into a timeout. The Trojans rallied and tied the set at 20-20, despite Catawba Ridge holding a five-point lead at one point. The Copperheads took a small 23-21 lead, but again the Trojans tied it at 23-23, before Catawba Ridge scored the final two points of the set to win.
The third and final set was nowhere near as close as the first two as Catawba Ridge quickly went up 7-5 and then started pulling away rather quickly. The Copperheads scored at one point seven of 10 points to go up 17-10, before Northwestern closed the gap some. However, this time the Trojans could never tie Catawba Ridge as the Copperheads held serve and put Northwestern away.
Catawba Ridge finished region play with a 9-1 record, just like the Trojans, and are now 15-9-1 overall heading into the playoffs in a couple weeks.
Mac Banks: firstname.lastname@example.org, @fortprep