CARY — Volleyball season has just three weeks left, and even though the year might not always be going the way Cary and Green Hope had planned, Tuesday evening showed that both teams still have plenty of fight.
Green Hope’s size and powerful hitters took control to defeat host Cary 3-0 (25-16, 25-12, 25-18), completing the season sweep.
What worked: Green Hope (7-8, 3-5), coming off a win against Jordan on Monday, had Allison O’Connor, a sophomore, come up with big blocks and kills.
“She played phenomenal,” Green Hope coach Karl Redelfs said. “She is probably our go-to person at this as far as the height and power she has. She is playing all-around good ball. I’m training her as she is only a sophomore and hopefully I will have her for another two more years.”
Redelfs was also pleased with his team’s turn in optimism after getting off to a 3-5 start to the season. The Falcons were hoping to compete for a Southwest Wake Athletic Conference title, but lost its top returning hitter and setter to knee tears before the season started.
“Our focus has been to bring lots of energy and so I feel like they have been doing a fantastic job the last two or three games with just energy,” he said. “So even though they weren’t down at any point in the game, they continued to play with energy.”
Putting up numbers: O’Connor led the way for Green Hope with eight kills on the night and as senior Margot Ruffiuex was able to pitch in seven kills to help lead the way. Sophomore Lexi Chaize had six kills in the game, while Sydney Robinson had five more kills for the Falcons.
Cary’s Olivia Moore and Raechel Brooks led the Imps in kills.
Needing improvement: Cary had several opportunities that just didn’t seem to go its way. Service errors were a problem.
The Imps have made the postseason in at least each of the last seven years but have been eliminated from this year’s playoffs. Cary has some young players that help make the future look bright.
“I have some great girls, I wouldn’t trade any of them for a win” said Cary coach Philip Goodloe. “If we play like we can, we can play tough with anybody. We just get down mentally sometimes.”
Feeling the impact: Green Hope would be the last team into the 4A East playoff bracket as a wild-card if the playoffs started today. The Falcons, who have made the playoffs in at least the last eight years, have taken advantage of helping their wild-card chances by winning four of their six nonconference games.