The SouthLake Christian Academy Eagles won their first NCISAA 2A volleyball title recently, defeating top-seeded Asheville Christian Academy 3-1 at St. David's School in Raleigh.
SouthLake (25-5) entered the season with a sense of unfinished business after a semifinal loss to eventual champion High Point Christian Academy last season and the loss of four senior starters to graduation, coach Rachel Noreika said.
"I knew I needed to become more flexible as a coach and more willing to make adjustments based on the opponent's strengths and weaknesses," she said.
The Eagles got stronger by adding all-state junior outside hitter Katie Schoenrock, whose family moved to Huntersville from Cary.
SouthLake made it to the finals with a semifinal win against Schoenrock's former team, Cary Christian School (14-25, 25-12, 25-10, 25-23).
In the finals, No. 3-seeded SouthLake won the first two games 25-14 and 25-23, then lost game three 24-26 under a strong effort by the Lions. The Eagles secured the championship with a 25-23 win in game four.
Schoenrock and junior middle blocker Kayla Summer were named to the all-state team. Senior setter and team co-captain Meghan Bentley had a career-high 47 assists. Freshman libero Olivia Loeffler led the team with 16 digs.