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Opinion: TIC tourney was exciting

If you don’t like prep volleyball, move on to the next story.

As many of you who read this column regularly already know, I’m a huge volleyball fan and I enjoy covering and writing about the sport.

When we started covering fall sports besides football again, the first one I wanted was volleyball. I’ve always enjoyed the pace, the tempo and the teamwork it takes to win in volleyball.

Last week I spent a couple of days at the Tarheel Independent Conference tournament where I enjoyed watching some of the best volleyball matches I’ve seen.

In Wednesday afternoon’s semifinals, both Lawrence Academy and Ridgecroft School were pushed to the limit. I knew their opponents, Albemarle School and Terra Ceia Christian School, had been solid clubs all season and I knew they were good.

Having said that, the way they played in the semifinals convinced me both belonged in the state tournament.

In the Albemarle-Lawrence matchup, junior Jamie Phillips of Albemarle dominated the match in a fashion I hadn’t seen since Jessica Misse played at Ridgecroft. When she served, the Warriors struggled and when she hit the ball, it went to the floor.

While her performance was dominating, it was no better than the one turned in by Lawrence’s Kendall Street in the finals. She hit the ball hard and straight to the floor and she and TIC Player of the Year Jenna Griffin were a big reason the Warriors won the title.

The Warriors were monstrous in the finals and showed why they have been the best team in the TIC this year. They passed the ball well, hit the ball well and set the ball well. They did almost nothing wrong.

Dr. Ed Clouse was named the league’s Coach of the Year and it’s an honor he truly deserved. The Lady Warriors’ defense in the best in the league and perhaps the best in the state and his coaching has made it so.

I am pleased with the league’s coaches who did an outstanding job in recognizing the talent in the league and the hard work of so many young ladies.

The All-Tarheel Independent Conference team included Courtney Jones of Albemarle, Sally Smith of Hobgood, Jenna Griffin and Kate Hodges of Lawrence, Jessica Duncan of Northeast Academy, Lindsey Sawyer of Pungo, Lauren Lilley and Jo Revelle Murray of Ridgecroft and Kalissa Van Vuran of Terra Ceia.

Had I been pushed, I wouldn’t have changed a single one of them and I have seen every team in the league play at least once. Good job as usual.

With the state tournament now upon us, I’ll forecast this much: if Lawrence Academy plays as well as they know how, they have a chance to win it all. It’s no guarantee because four other teams there will be just as good or maybe a little better talent wise.

My second prognostication is this: if the Lady Rams play team volleyball n stress team n they have a chance to be in the finals on the opposite side of the Warriors.

Questions? Comments?

You can reach me at thadd.white@r-cnews.com or call me at 332-7211.

Be careful out there and be good sports.