In a decisive battle at First Flight High School last night, the CHSS Lady Canes varsity volleyball team fell to the Camden County Bruins 3-0, knocking the Canes out of the NC 1A state tournament. Unfortunately, this experience was something like Deja vu to the Canes who lost 3-0 to the Bruins last year in the second round of state playoffs, and fell twice to the Bruins in regular season play this season. Camden, the number 10 seed in the tournament, is set to play Falls Lake Academy, the number 2 seed, on Thursday, October 31. This game will determine which team moves on to the fourth round where only eight teams remain.
Lady Canes received tons of local support from both friends and family who traveled to the school in Kill Devil Hills to cheer them on. A CHSS school-sponsored spirit bus even traveled to FFHS to lend their enthusiastic chants led by middle school basketball coach Jerry Rosell.
“Celebrating the hard work and perseverance of our athletes is always a special opportunity despite the outcome of the competition. Any opportunity to celebrate the spirit of Hatteras is something I always want to be a part of,” Rosell said.
Lady Canes started off the first set strong, gaining the first point, but they could not quite make all of the blocks and hits they needed to be able to capitalize on this advantage. Just three minutes in, the Bruins gained a three-point lead over the Canes despite impressive hits from both sophomore libero Felicity Quidley from the back line and Freshman Lily Ratliff at the net. At the first time out, the Bruins held a 10 point over the Lady Canes which they maintained until the end of the set which ended with a final score of 14-25.
In the second set, Lady Canes started off with a three-point lead due to some tenacious hits and digs from Quidley and sophomore Yoselyn Gabriel. Amongst powerful hits from the Bruins, Lady Canes managed to maintain the lead until the teams tied at 17-17. Unfortunately, the Canes were only able to gain two more points before the set ended in the Bruins’ favor, leaving the score of the second set 19-25.
Lady Canes started out in the lead again in the third set, but the Bruins quickly took control to dominate the entire set. Despite well-timed plays from junior captains Rubie Shoemaker and Laura Hooper, miscommunication got the best of the Lady Canes. Freshman Grace Shoemaker also proved her willfulness to fight, shoring up persistent blocks and hits, but it was not enough to bring the Lady Canes back. The set ended in a Bruins win with a final score of 17-25.
Despite this loss, head coach Christine Van Atta remains optimistic about the girls’ potential. The Lady Canes, who are the number 7 seed in the tournament, certainly possessed the abilities to defeat the team from Camden but faltered from nerves.
“We believe that our competition helps us to reach our excellence when they push us to play hard,” Head Coach Christine Van Atta said.
Though this loss marks the end of the Lady Canes’ season, they should be immensely proud of all that they have accomplished this season, from improving relations among teams in their conference to their year-round efforts both on and off the court.
“This season has been one of the best. Though we made it to the second round of state playoffs, we never actually needed the satisfaction of a win. Our team worked harder than many others because we wanted to see ourselves improve,” Captain Rubie Shoemaker said.
Next year, the team is set to have seven seniors, including both of this year’s captains, and will hopefully get another shot at the state playoffs. Win or lose, though, the Lady Canes will always have encouragement from the community.
“Our success starts from having the support and vested interest from the whole community. This would not be happening without the support of each one of them,” Van Atta said.