Volleyball team suffers loss in regional championship


Kaylen Ayres

The varsity volleyball team walks off the court. They lost 3-1 in the fifth round of state playoffs against Ardrey Kell on Tuesday night.

It was 24-20 in the fourth set. Northwest needed to win this point to remain in the game. After going back and forth over the net, the ball hit the court on Northwest’s side. Their season had come to a close.

The varsity volleyball team had a successful season with a 26-3 record. The undefeated conference champions, however, were not able to clinch the regional championship win in the final four against Ardrey Kell High School.

“We were upset that we couldn’t get there (to the state championship),” head coach Nancy Everett said. “When you reflect back, we were in the final four and the only team from Guilford County, so that’s a pretty big thing.”

The team knew it would be a challenging game. Having lost to Ardrey Kell 3-1 earlier in the season, the girls were determined to beat them in the fifth round of state playoffs.

The Vikings lost the first two sets 25-23 and 25-18, respectfully. The team came back to win the third set 25-19, but despite their efforts, they lost the last set 25-20 to end the game.

When reflecting on the season, the girls attribute their success to a smaller team.

“I think our key to success was having a smaller team; having good chemistry helped,” senior Sarah Riedell said. “I think we did a good job of staying mentally focused throughout the season because we all knew we had a goal to do well in states this year.”

Riedell, along with seniors Lily Hughes, Brennan Berry and Sarah Barham, were Everett’s first players after she took over for the previous coach, Darlene Joyner.

“We felt that we really needed to show our leadership skills this year,” Riedell said. “We’re important to her.”

The game was an upsetting loss for Northwest and marked the end of the seniors’ high school volleyball careers.

“The Ardrey Kell game was definitely a bit heart-wrenching,” Barham said. “You never really prepare for your last game wearing a Northwest jersey, and toward the end of the game, I realized that it probably was my last time; it was kind of sad.”

Looking forward to next season, the seniors hope the team’s accomplishments will continue.

“I hope that the juniors really take pride in their leadership role that they will have next year,” Barham said. “I hope the rest of the team knows how special it is to be a part of Northwest volleyball. I hope they play hard and continue our legacy.”


Staff writer Lily Hughes contributed to this story.