A change in classification hasnt changed Charlotte Catholic volleyball.
The Cougars, in their inaugural season as a 4A program, wrapped up an unbeaten SoMeck 8 regular season with a 3-0 win against Providence High on Thursday. Catholic (19-2-2, 14-0) won its 15th straight match by starting strong and withstanding Providences determined attempts to rally.
Theyve worked very, very hard to get where they are right now, so we couldnt be happier, Cougars coach Tracy Landschoot said.
Catholic exploited its power at the net, with Kaitlyn Massey, Emma Mitchell and Sarah Schweihs combining for 28 kills and setter Molly Ray racking up 35 assists. Their efficiency offset Providences (16-6, 11-3) effort to send seniors Moni Brians, Delaney Forrest and Mady Caplan off with a win in their regular-season home finale.
They played fantastic defense, Landschoot said. We had a couple of mismatches at the net we could exploit and we just held on defense, which was nice for us. Their fans were nice and loud, but we held through it.
After losing the first set 25-15, Providence, which had its eight-match win streak snapped, rebounded to within a point of winning the second at 24-21. Catholic didnt crack, though, rallying with three straight points to force one of 11 ties in the set. The Cougars finished the rally when a pair of unforced errors doomed Providence to a 28-26 loss.
I think that made a difference, Panthers coach Stephanie Harpenau said. I told the girls in each set I thought there was a string of points where we didnt play very well, and it made the difference in that set. In the first set we didnt play very well in the beginning. In the second set we didnt play very well at the end and the third set we didnt play very well at the beginning.
Catholic did, though, by starting strong and scoring when necessary to establish or maintain momentum heading into next weeks league tournament.
Thats a difficult thing, coming into their home gym, their Senior Night, their fans, which was a fantastic environment, Landschoot said. We enjoyed that, but we were a little tight and not quite comfortable, but we got those first couple (of points) and its here we go, lets play.
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