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Lady Knights up to the 'Challenge'
NORTH CENTRAL WON ITS own Carolina Challenge on Saturday. Pictured kneeling, from left, are Khila Wood, Logan Coates, Ambi Wood, Kelsie Gardner and Alexa Williamson. The back row includes head coach Andy Johnson, Deja Linton, Madeline Pate, Erin Humphries, Ashley Turner, Alexis Hackworth and assistant coach Nicole Gainey.
After being seeded third at the conclusion of pool play in Saturday’s ninth annual Carolina Challenge volleyball tournament, host North Central turned on the afterburners.The Lady Knights would capture their own event by winning all three of its afternoon matches, including a 2-0 sweep of Westminster-Catawba in the finals on Saturday evening inside The Castle in Boonetown.Andy Johnson’s charges opened pool play in the morning with a 25-22, 25-21 sweep over fellow Region 4-AA entry Buford before splitting a pair with Westminster-Catawba, which won the first set, 25-18, with the Lady Knights taking the second, 25-19. The hostesses closed pool play with a 25-19, 25-12 win over Gilbert.Robert E. Lee Academy was ranked first after pool play in the 12-team tourney followed by Andrew Jackson and North Central. Westminster-Catawba, Lancaster, Buford, Hartsville and Indian Land rounded out the eight teams which advanced to the afternoon’s single-elimination tourney.North Central opened its run to the title by taking two of three from Buford, which won the opener, 25-12, only to see NC answer with a 25-23 and 15-11 win in sets two and three, respectively.The Lady Knights rolled from there, knocking off Robert E. Lee Academy, 25-18 and 25-17, in the semifinals before taking down Westminster-Catawba in the finale, 25-22 and 25-16.The champions, who are 9-0 in regular season and 6-0 in Region 4-AA play, host Buford on Thursday in a 6:30 p.m. start in Boonetown.