The Hickory Ridge volleyball program has come a long way since it started five years ago. After struggling in their first season, coach Patti Chason and the Ragin' Bulls have been at the top of the South Piedmont conference standings for the past four seasons.
This year, the Ragin' Bulls may have been at their best as they won a school record 17 conference games, while advancing to the second round of the 3A playoffs before falling to West Iredell.
Four other SPC teams also made the playoffs. No. 2 Cox Mill and No. 3 Mount Pleasant won playoff games in the opening round before making their exits in the second round.
Concord and Northwest Cabarrus also made the playoffs, but lost in the first round.
Cabarrus News Player of the Year: Becca Lukasik, Hickory Ridge
Becca Lukasik didn't even start playing volleyball until late in her middle school years.
A close family friend and neighbor to Patti Chason and her daughter, former Central Cabarrus star and University of Delaware volleyball player Jessica Chason, Lukasik first picked up the game because of the Chasons.
Five years later, Lukasik was not only a standout for Chason's Ragin' Bulls' team, but also the SPC Player of the Year as Hickory Ridge's and the league's top offensive weapon.
Lukasik, who has some offers to play college volleyball at smaller schools, will likely end up following her academic prowess instead, as she plans a career in the medical field.
Cabarrus News Coach of the Year: Patti Chason, Hickory Ridge
Despite losing eight seniors from the 2010 squad, Patti Chason led her Hickory Ridge team to their second straight SPC title. Chason also earned co-SPC Coach of the Year honors with Mount Pleasant coach Michelle Barrett.
For Chason, the only coach in the short history of the Hickory Ridge volleyball program, this is nothing new, as she has guided her team to 78 wins in the last four years.
The Bulls should be in good shape next year with rising seniors Haley Denny and Bethany Laden coming back to lead a team that should contend for another SPC title.
All-Cabarrus News volleyball team
Becca Lukasik, Hickory Ridge: SPC Player of the Year was key to leading Ragin' Bulls to another conference title.
Hannah Harper, Hickory Ridge: Senior All-SPC setter directed one of area's top offenses.
Haley Denny, Hickory Ridge: Junior defensive ace led her team with 346 digs.
Bethany Laden, Hickory Ridge: Junior's size and talent was key in the middle for Bulls.
Amanda Carter, Cox Mill: All-around talent had 187 kills, 310 digs to lead Chargers.
Asya Patterson, Cox Mill: Only freshman to earn All-SPC honors had a team-best 53 blocks.
Meredith Furr, Cox Mill: Junior setter, a co-captain for the Chargers, also named to All-SPC team.
Katelyn Cline, Mount Pleasant: All-SPC senior led Tigers in kills, big plays.
Kendall Ross, Mount Pleasant: Fellow Tiger senior did a little bit of everything for her team.
Brenner Moore, Concord: Spiders' top killer, earned All-SPC honors while helping team to playoffs.
Hannah Pless, Concord: Multi-sport standout, All-SPC in both soccer and volleyball, was solid at the libero spot.
Savannah Cox, Northwest Cabarrus: All-conference junior has developed into Trojans' top offensive weapon.