A rugged non-region slate of matches prepared the Camden High volleyball team well for Region 4-AAA play as the Lady Bulldogs knocked off Fairfield Central, Chester and Indian Land their first three conference outings.
Against Indian Land, CHS dropped the first set, 25-13, before storming back to win the next three by the scores of 25-23, 25-11 and 31-19.
“This was a big win for us,” CHS head coach Paige Wilson said after the IL victory. “They are a strong, highly skilled team.
“The fourth set was a battle that showed what we can do. We took an early lead, but Indian Land came back and had us, 23-17 and 24-19, but we stayed strong and fought to win in the end. I was very proud of our team effort. Many players contributed to our team’s success in this match.”
Camden traveled to the Eastside Invitational on Saturday and finished fourth in a strong pool which included Eastside, Riverside, Easley and Pendleton. “Although disappointing to come out fourth,” Wilson said, “I was pleased with some things I saw versus strong opponents. This tournament gives us a chance to see strong competition from the upstate that will help us in the end.”
In bracket play, Camden defeated Wren in the first round and beat Christ Church in the finals, losing the first set before taking the second and third sets.
At tourney’s end, Catherine Todd earned the all-tournament award. “I could not be prouder of Catherine for this. She has switched roles her senior season from setter to defense and has embraced it and continues to improve,” said Wilson.
Wilson said she hopes her defending AAA Upper State champions will be peaking in time for the state tournament.
“Overall,” she said, “we are still struggling with consistency in play and still trying to find the lineup that works best; I was pleased with the fight we showed at times. I also like that many players are contributing.
“Our net play is led by seniors Grace McGugan, Whitley Kahler, Jensen Williams and Peyton Truesdale and junior Katharine Coplin. Newcomers and juniors Ajah Drakeford, Ariel Wright and Madison Williams are showing progress and also contributing valuable touches front row touches.
“Defensively, we are led by Whitley Kahler, Jensen Williams, Katharine Coplin and senior Catherine Todd, who is showing her versatility by playing in a setter and defensive Libero role this season. Rookies Meg Matthews and Kathryn Rabon are also contributing solid defensive play while Abby Irick is doing well, leading us in a setting role.”
Calling all volleyball alums: Camden hosts Chapin tonight (Sept. 26) on Alumn Night which includes a pre-match reception at 5 p.m. prior to the 5:390 p.m. junior varsity match which will be followed by the varsity match at 7 p.m.