RALEIGH Hough High’s volleyball team has had its share of tough matches this season, having to battle from behind more than once.
Yet when the Huskies found themselves in that position Saturday in the NCHSAA 4A championships against Raleigh Wakefield, it was the other team that responded.
After going up 2-0 before giving up a momentum-shifting game to Hough, the Wolverines put the match away with a decisive win in the fourth game – the final scores were 25-22 25-19, 20-25 and 25-22 – at Reynolds Coliseum.
Led by championship game MVP Darian Mack, Wakefield (25-2) won its first state volleyball title in its 12th appearance in the playoffs, and ended Mecklenburg County’s run of state championships at two straight. Ardrey Kell won the 4A title in 2012, and Providence won in 2011.
“It was a heck of a match … they just played a little better than us,” Huskies head coach Sandi Skidmore said. “They had a couple of girls we couldn’t slow down. We tried our best, but they were a handful for us.
“We gave all we had, but we just didn’t have enough. They were just better.”
Mack had a match-high 20 kills for the Wolverines, 10 coming in the decisive fourth game after Hough (32-2) looked like it was swinging momentum back its way with its win in Game 3.
“We weren’t worried about that,” Wakefield head coach Cynthia Terrell said. “We’ve been down before in previous matches. I was more concerned about how we were going back to play our style of play.
“We had some great passing to begin with, and when Darian gets on fire, it’s hard to stop her.”
Cardinal Gibbons 3, Carson 0: The Crusaders (28-0) capped an undefeated season by handing the Cougars (34-1) their only loss in straight sets, 25-19, 25-13, 26-24, in the state 3A final.
Led by Cheyenne Wood, who was named the game’s most valuable player, Cardinal Gibbons won its fifth straight 3A title and sixth in the past seven years. The Crusaders also won a pair of 2A titles in 2005 and 2006.
Madison Weast and Hannah Elmore had seven kills each for Carson, which has lost to Cardinal Gibbons twice in as many years in the state 3A final.
Kiser: 704-895-3662; Twitter: @BKiser_CLTObs
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