Lake Norman & Mooresville

Duo uses chemistry to help team rebound

Behind strong seasons from Jennifer Hart and Madie Greer, North Mecklenburg's volleyball team more than doubled last year's win total.

Hart, a sophomore setter, and Greer, a senior outside hitter, led their Vikings to a 19-8 record (10-4 in the I-Meck) and a third-place finish in the conference behind talented Lake Norman and Hough squads.

"We played to the best of our abilities," said Hart. "We worked as a team and put up a fight."

Rebounding from a 8-16 season last year, Greer said it was nice to see more wins come their way under first-year coach Tarrah Johnson.

"It was good for our confidence, but it wasn't necessarily the season we were hoping for," said Greer.

North Meck ended its season Oct. 25, losing to Lake Norman 3-1 in the second round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A playoffs.

The duo credits its chemistry with a lot of their success.

"We're close," said Greer. "People who like each other play well together."

The 17-year-old is an intense player who held her Vikings to a high standard, expecting to win each time.

"I just leave everything out on court," said Greer.

Johnson said the 6-foot senior did much more than lead the team with 328 kills this season.

"She's a dominant hitter," said Johnson. "But she's also an all-around good player."

Hart was also instrumental for her Vikings, leading them in aces - recording an area-high 139 on the year - and assists with 580.

"She does all that she can to help her teammates," said Johnson, who described the 5-foot-8 Hart as determined on and off the court.

The sophomore said she takes pride of her aces, which is something she's been focused to improve during the past couple of seasons.

"I worked to get more consistent, mixing it up, really thinking where to place the ball," said Hart.

Johnson said she's proud of how her team came together and performed this season.

"They put up a fight," said Johnson. "And that's all I can ask."

Seniors Emily Carmichael and Ebony Dixon as well as junior Katelynn Granger and sophomore Hannah Scheffer were also key contributors for the Vikings this season.

With her first year as a head coach of her alma mater completed, Johnson is looking forward to next year.

With Hart, Granger and Scheffer returning, the coach said she'll have a good foundation to build upon.

"I feel like I'll have a little bit of an upper-hand," said Johnson.

Hart hopes her team can compete for a conference title.

"We know how good we can be," the 15-year-old said. "Next year, I'm hoping to reach high standards, improve more and keep doing our best."

Greer, who has been talking to Johns Hopkins about continuing her volleyball career in college, said that she'll forever remember her senior season.

"It's not about the wins or the losses, it's about the girls," she said.

"I will just remember the bonds we had."