High School Sports

Nationally ranked Cox Mill bolts to NCHSAA 3A volleyball title

Cox Mill celebrates after winning the match point. The Chapel Hill Tigers played the Cox Mill Chargers for the NCHSAA 3A volleyball championship that took place at the N.C. State Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Cox Mill won 3-0.
Cox Mill celebrates after winning the match point. The Chapel Hill Tigers played the Cox Mill Chargers for the NCHSAA 3A volleyball championship that took place at the N.C. State Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh, N.C. on Saturday, November 5, 2016. Cox Mill won 3-0. newsobserver.com

Cox Mill finished off a season to remember Saturday at N.C. State.

The Chargers, ranked No. 8 in MaxPreps national poll, swept Chapel Hill 3-0 in the N.C. 3A state championship game. They were the first team from Cabarrus County to reach the state championship round. They are also the first team to win it.

Championship MVP Taylor Rowland had 22 kills and teammate Courtney Weber had 32 assists for Cox Mill (34-0), which won 25-15, 25-15 and 25-19. Chapel Hill (24-6) was making its first finals appearance since 2003.

Aside from a surprise sweep at the hands of Cedar Ridge, Chapel Hill (24-6) suffered losses to either 2A champ Carrboro (three times), 4A title participant Green Hope and 3A champ Cox Mill.

“We had quite a tough road,” first-year coach Ross Fields said. “We fought hard everywhere we went, and we’ve got a great team.”

Cox Mill certainly looked the part as the best in the state regardless of classification.

But the Tigers showed a lot of fight. After having trouble in the first two sets, falling by identical 25-15 scores, Chapel Hill trailed just 14-12 halfway through the third set thanks to gritty play by seniors Shea Golden and Katie Huge.

“We’re happy. We’re a little disappointed, obviously, but we’re happy overall with how we’ve spent the last three months together,” Fields said.

Cox Mill’s future is bright. The Chargers return 10 of the players from this year’s team in 2017, including Rowland, an Auburn recruit.

J. Mike Blake: 919-460-2606, @JMBpreps

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