South Charlotte

Hawks claim 8th N.C. title

In what has become an annual rite, Charlotte Latin has won another North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A state volleyball title.

The Hawks, led by head coach Suzie Pignetti, have now won the past eight state titles and boast two of the best players in the state: Eve Davis and Emma Price, both juniors.

The Hawks swept Huntersville's Southlake Christian, a team that had not lost in 28 matches, to take the state title 25-16, 25-19 and 25-15.

Latin became so dominant down the stretch that it has dropped just three games of its last 45. The Hawks finished with an overall record of 40-2-1, winning 105 of the 116 games along the way.

"Because we had some really good players and because we had some pretty high expectations that we put on ourselves and others put on us as well, we certainly had some extra stress to deal with," said Pignetti.

Davis, an outside hitter and 2010 all-state performer, finished the season with 599 kills, the individual leader for any player in the Observer area. She also contributed 352 digs and 117 aces on the year and has more than 1,000 career kills - only the second Latin player to achieve that milestone.

Price was named player of the week for North Carolina in early September and was equally as dominant.

She led the Observer coverage area with 1,016 assists, and also had 116 kills, 60 aces and 324 digs.

Seniors Amma Okwara, Emily Usher, Madison Pulliam and Shema'n Fullwood, with juniors Ashley Finke, Brooke Brown and sophomore Kellie Williams, all played important roles.

"We really wanted to send our four seniors out as champions, so we were happy about that," Pignetti said.

Davis paced Latin with 23 kills in the championship game, and Okwara added 7. Finke recorded 26 digs in the finale, and Davis, Price and Williams chipped in with double-figure kill totals.

"Our team remained very motivated, positive, and demonstrated a certain calmness under fire, which all played a part of our success," Pignetti said.