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LEXINGTON — A spectacular 2018 season for the Wilson Christian Academy varsity volleyball team ended with a quarterfinals shock in the North Carolina Christian School Association 2-A Championship at Sheets Memorial on Thursday.
The Lady Chargers, the No. 2 seed from the East, were spilled 27-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-15 in the round of eight by Vandalia Christian, the No. 3 seed from the West.
After posting 18 consecutive wins, the Lady Chargers ended their season at 18-2, losing to Wilmington Christian, No. 1 from the East; and Sheets Memorial. Wilmington opposes Gospel Light for the championship Saturday.
Head coach Ryan Vanderboegh doesn’t deny that he expected his Wilson Christian team to play for the state title.
“We were good enough,” he declared. “It’s frustrating. But Vandalia came out and played the game of their lives, apparently. This was the scrappiest I have ever seen us play, but we couldn’t get it going. The effort was definitely there.”
Vanderboegh said his Lady Chargers were unable to sustain runs because of Vandalia either benefiting from a break or responding with a great play.
Senior McKenna Griffin paced WCA with 17 kills, two aces, two digs and a block; Junior Ashley Hartsfield responded with four kills, 27 assists, an ace and nine digs. Senior Christy Jones delivered four kills, six assists, an ace and 16 digs.
Sophomore Tori Linkous notched seven kills, two aces and a dig, while Dani Reece, another sophomore, contributed four kills, five aces and two digs.
Vanderboegh commended the overall play of senior Reagan Lamm.
“I think we were a little tense — we wanted it so badly,” Vanderboegh noted. “Vandalia got every single roll. Everything that could have gone their way went their way.”
WCA careers ended for seniors Griffin, Jones and Lamm.
Lady Chargers shine in state tune-up
GREENSBORO — With four runners bunched a mere 24 seconds apart, the Wilson Christian Academy girls cross-country team ruled a four-team meet at Hagen-Stone Park on Thursday that served as a warm-up for the North Carolina Christian Schools Association 2-A Championship event.
Led by senior Jenna Varnell, the Lady Chargers claimed the Nos. 3-6 positions in amassing 18 points for their top four runners. Second was Alamance Christian (29), followed by Union Grove (53) and Vandalia Christian (58). Also competing were Fayetteville schools Berean and Cornerstone.
In the boys race, Wilson Christian, with three runners in the top seven, finished second behind Vandalia. Vandalia totaled 25 points, followed by the Chargers (28), Union Grove (52), Alamance (69) Berean (74) and Cornerstone (97).
Among 12 Lady Chargers runners, seven posted career-best times — some from as far back as 2015.
Varnell seized third with a time of 23 minutes, 21 seconds. Fourth was freshman Ocean Reece at 23:25, senior Katie Glover fifth at 23:39 and senior Ashley Hardy sixth at 23:45. Battling sickness, freshman Holland Miller salvaged ninth in 24:17.
WCA coach Dwight Vanderboegh noted his top four runners have closed the gap from No. 1 to No. 4 from two minutes at the start of the season to 24 seconds in Thursday’s meet.
Eighth-grader Seth Trull paced the WCA boys with a fourth-place time of 19:46. Fifth was seventh-grader Lin Scott (20:17). Senior Andrew Blalock wound up seventh (20:37).
Also for WCA, seventh-grader Briceson Martin placed 12th, eighth-grader Carter Zander 20th and senior David Summers 21st.
The Chargers were without senior Jackson Hoskins, their No. 1 runner. Hoskins is a member of the boys soccer team that lost in state semifinals Thursday.
Regarding the upcoming state meet, Vanderboegh mentioned that Wilmington Christian will also be in the mix and that it “will be a very tight contest.”
The state finals are set for next Thursday at Hagen-Stone Park, with the girls race starting at 2 p.m. and the boys race at 2:45.