After J.H. Rose, ranked 3rd, easily defeated Cedar Ridge, ranked 11th, in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s 3A East volleyball playoffs, there were speculations that they would also beat Orange, ranked 2nd, in the fourth round. This belief was due to the fact that Cedar Ridge had previously beaten Orange, their rival from the Central 3A conference, in four sets just ten days ago.
However, the Orange Panthers maintained dominance throughout the crucial playoff game against Rose on Saturday afternoon. They ultimately defeated the Rampants in four sets, ending their season.
On Tuesday, Orange will face Carrboro in the regional final after Carrboro defeated top-seeded Cape Fear in five sets tonight. In a non-conference match in August, the Panthers were beaten by Carrboro in four sets.
In the opening set, Orange quickly gained a 21-13 advantage, causing Rose to call a timeout. Despite a strong attempt at a comeback by Rose, the Panthers ultimately won the set 25-19.
Rose put in a commendable performance during the second set. The Rampants took early leads of 15-8 and 20-13 and managed to maintain their momentum, ultimately winning the set 25-21.
Following a 16-16 tie at the beginning of the third set, the Panthers gained momentum and outscored Rose 17-7, ultimately winning the set 25-15.
In the fourth round, Rose tied the score at 19. Coach Hope Heverly from the Orange team called for a break. After the break, the Panthers scored the last six points of the match and won the final set with a score of 25-19.
Ella Wimsatt, a senior on the Orange team, had the most kills with a total of 20. Among the team’s sophomores, Aubrey Jordan had 17 kills and Ava Wilkerson had 14. Wilkerson, who stands at 6 feet 4 inches, also had the most blocks with a total of five.
The season for J.H. Rose concluded with a total record of 22 wins and 5 losses, including a 10-2 record in the Big Carolina 3A/4A Conference.