• 41°

HARRISBURG — Hickory Ridge’s Rebecca Cochran soared to block Carson’s Morgan Hester, and an optimistic roar started in the Hickory Ridge cheering section, as the volleyball hurtled back in the direction it came from.
That roar died simultaneously in 200 throats. Carson’s Madison Weast was in the air, reading what was going to happen even before it happened, and was pounding Cochran’s nice block straight down to the floor for a kill.
Carson, which easily swept Hickory Ridge 25-14, 25-16 and 25-14, doesn’t get too exuberant about points — it expects to score 75 of them every time it plays— but Weast allowed herself a small air-punch after Monday’s mighty mash.
“Never stop until the whistle blows,” Weast said. “That play wasn’t over yet.”
For Carson (28-0, 15-0 SPC), most matches have been over shortly after the Cougars exited the bus.
The Cougars have been a perfect storm of talent, height, experience and coaching, and they have torn through the overmatched SPC like that Kansas tornado that tossed around Dorothy and Toto.
Carson lost two standout hitters in Aimee Cloninger and Allison Blackwell from the 2012 team that reached the 3A final, but there’s been no drop-off.
The Cougars do look different now with Hester often setting and former setter Michaela White roaming all over. Now teams don’t know if White, a three-time Rowan County Player of the Year who has committed to Charlotte, is going to set up Weast, Hannah Elmore or Tori Pruitt — or drill it off someone’s nose herself.
“I love having Morgan setting,” White said. “I’ve had a chance to do different things this year, and I like doing different things.”
Hickory Ridge coach Patti Chaison has steered her Ragin’ Bulls (18-5, 12-3) into second place, but she realized it was going to take a miracle to beat Carson.
“Michaela White has fantastic hands and can always put the ball anywhere she wants to,” Chaison said. “You ask your girls to play with heart, and we did that, but that’s all you can do. You can’t get upset about losing to a team as good as Carson. It’s sort of like playing against a small-college team.”
The Cougars won a regular-season conference championship for the first time in coach Kelan Rogers’ five-year tenure, but he downplayed that accomplishment. He’s got bigger fish to fry.
“We’ve actually played our best on Saturdays this year rather than conference matches,” Rogers said. “Today, we were OK, but this wasn’t our best. Too many missed serves, too many balls hit out on easy kills, and too many unforced errors.”
Rogers isn’t easy to please, but he gets the most out of his teams. Carson is 125-29 the past five seasons.
The Cougars who did the most to crash Hickory Ridge’s senior night party were Weast and Elmore with 10 kills each. Pruitt had eight, with five in a Game 3 flurry.
Hester had 21 assists. White had six kills and four aces. White, Elmore, Weast and Elena Turnbull produced blocks.
Jordan Osborne did major damage at the service line, recording nine straight points in Game 3. Libero Laura Vaughn was strong in the serve-receive department, switching Carson from defense to offense with accurate passes.
“That team we beat today was scrappy and some of the best competition in our new conference,” Weast said. “But no matter who we’re playing, we try to play at a high level. We’re always excited, but mostly we’re excited about what’s coming.’

Comments

Comments closed.

News

Defendant convicted in attempted murder case on the run after fleeing from trial

Business

Downtown Gateway Building to be renamed for late Paul Fisher

Coronavirus

Rowan County COVID-19 data for April 15

Local

Rep. Warren’s bill would prohibit parking in electric vehicle charging stations

Local

Historic Preservation Commission approves Integro Technologies expansion, Paint the Pavement project

Education

Faith Academy, RSS will negotiate over what goes, stays in elementary school

Crime

Teacher killed in Alamance County shootout with Mexican drug cartel

Coronavirus

Bill would give more tax breaks on COVID-19 loans

Nation/World

No response as divers knock on capsized ship’s hull

Local

Quotes of the week

Crime

Blotter: Man found on church property with litany of drugs

Crime

Man charged in connection to 2019 overdose death

Business

‘It’s our big time’: Salisbury Farmers Market reopens Saturday

Education

Schools capital funding still frozen as RSS sends local budget to county

Business

Shields, Cheerwine Festival receive N.C. Main Street Awards

Kannapolis

Duke University launches kidney disease study in Kannapolis for people of African descent

Education

Horizons Unlimited will hold in-person summer camps

Education

Education briefs: Catawba planning for more in-person activities, free summer school tuition

Coronavirus

County’s full COVID-19 vaccinations top 22,600

High School

High school golf: With Merrell, Mustangs back on top

Local

Spencer investigating rat problem on South Iredell Street

News

Livingstone, Mission House Church to host national ‘Black Voters Matter’ listening session

Education

Shoutouts

Business

Groundbreaking on Pennant Square signals next phase in downtown Kannapolis revitalization