It look 11 years for Bettie Berry to reach a 4A state championship game, all the while watching rival Providence make four trips to the title game.
A season after losing to defending champion Roxboro Person in the 4A final, the Myers Park girls' volleyball coach isn't focused on getting back there. Yet.
“If we can win our conference, that's a heck of an accomplishment,” Berry said. “We'll worry about the rest later.”
With powers like Providence and Weddington in the same Southwestern 4A conference, that's probably the correct focus. The Mustangs, though, took a giant step for their program last year by not only making the final game, but by beating Providence in the semifinals to get there. A Myers Park volleyball team had never made it that far.
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The challenge now is sustaining that success. Observer Player of the Year Christine Perzinski, known as The Beast for her booming hits and solid blocks, now plays at Davidson College. Two other starters and a key bench player also graduated.
However, the roster is far from devoid of talent. All-conference seniors Olivia Humphries and Destin Baker lead the team, with a strong all-around cast and a deep bench to replace the starters.
The team didn't have very long to gel before competing in the Great Eight volleyball tournament in Greensboro. Myers Park beat Person and 1A Hendersonville but lost to 2A Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons and 3A Greenville Conley. Humphries was named tournament MVP.
“We have a chance to be good,” Berry said, “but it's way too early to tell.”