It’s been a long time since someone other than Charlotte Latin won the N.C. Independent Schools’ 3A volleyball state championship.
Charlotte Latin won nine state championships in a row, but when the Hawks (17-14) lost to Raleigh Ravenscroft Friday in the state quarterfinals, their amazing streak was over. Saturday afternoon in Raleigh, Charlotte Country Day won its first state championship since 1992, and the Bucs hope to start their own state championship win streak.
Country Day beat rival Covenant Day 3-1. The Bucs won the first set 25-15 and the second 25-20. Covenant Day took the third 25-22 before Country Day played what coach Brian Rosen said was its best set of the season, 25-13, to win.
Rosen said, for a moment, this championship seemed like the 2012 final, which Latin won 3-2 against Country Day. Rosen’s team was up 2-0 last year then lost three straight sets. So when Covenant Day took the third game Saturday, Rosen had an eerie flashback.
“We gave away a set last year, after winning the first two sets against Latin. Then we lost three straight,” he said. “I don’t think I’ve gotten my sleep back from that, but I think this will help.
“Today, we won the first two and lost the third, but the girls played so tough. We played lights out in the fourth set. Having been here last year, they were not going to come away from this game without a championship. It was great to see the girls go out there and play so hard, and I felt like they left everything out there on the floor.”
Saturday, Country Day’s Taylor Portland had 17 kills. Hannah Kintzinger and Katharine Franz had 16 each. Rachel Janson had 52 assists.
Covenant Day (32-4) lost twice in three tries to Country Day (34-6) this season. Rosen said Saturday’s game might have been the toughest win of his team’s two wins over its rival.
“We bring back 99 percent of our offense next year and 100 percent of our assists,” Rosen said. “Covenant Day brings back everyone so this could be a repeat of things to come next year. They’ve got big hitters, they’re scrappy on defense. We played better today, but every time we’ve played, it’s neck and neck.
“Man, this feels great to get this one.”
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