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Latin and Providence are tops at the net

The South Charlotte News area has produced some of the top volleyball teams in the state - from Charlotte Latin, which has won the last seven straight NCISAA 3A titles; to Providence, which has won five state titles since 1996 and been the runner-up twice, including this season.

Ardrey Kell, Charlotte Catholic, Charlotte Country Day and Myers Park also have had top volleyball programs in the state in recent years.

With a handful of the state's top programs in the same area of Charlotte, who stands out as the best on the court?

Coach of the year: Suzie Pignetti, Charlotte Latin. Pignetti has now led her Hawks teams to seven straight NCISAA 3A state championships and a 187-8 record.

This year, the Hawks went 31-3 on their way to another state title.

"It's incredible the success we have been able to have here at Latin," said Pignetti, who has won 13 state titles as a coach at Latin and Country Day. "Once we started winning titles...none of the teams wanted to be the one who ended the streak."

Player of the year: Kelsey Newman, Charlotte Catholic. This year Newman finished off a remarkable prep career in style, registering 449 kills, 406 digs, 96 aces and 76 blocks to earn her second straight ME-GA 7 Player of the Year award as she led Catholic to a 30-5 record, advancing to the 3A state quarterfinals. Next year, Newman will continue her academic and volleyball career at George Washington University.

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