The reigning 4A volleyball state champions were upset by Cox Mill in the western regional final on Tuesday. Cox Mill won the match in four sets against the favored team, Reagan.
The Raiders entered the match with an impressive record of 37 wins and 0 losses.
Reagan came into the game with a record of only two set losses throughout the entire year, both of which occurred during away games. The only other instances of the Raiders losing a set were on September 23 at Northwest Guilford and on October 2 at East Surry.
In one night, Cox Mill lost more sets than they had lost throughout the entire year.
Cox Mill maintained a comfortable lead over Reagan in the first set and ultimately won with a score of 25-18.
In the second set, the Raiders were able to maintain their lead over the Chargers. The score remained steady until Reagan pulled ahead 13-10, causing Cox Mill to call a timeout. Despite Cox Mill briefly taking a 17-16 lead, Reagan went on a 4-0 run to regain a three-point lead. Cox Mill then went on their own run to tie the set 20-20, leading to a timeout by Reagan. Two powerful kills by freshman Ellyson Randolph helped Reagan take a 23-21 lead, prompting another timeout by the Chargers. Reagan ultimately won the last two points and the set. Junior Gabrielle Nichols sealed the victory with a kill.
The game ended in a 1-1 tie.
Reagan’s strong performance carried over into the third set as they took a 12-6 lead. Despite trailing at both 12-6 and 15-10, Cox Mill fought back to gain a 19-18 advantage. A timeout was called to regroup. Cox Mill maintained their momentum after the timeout and although Reagan tied the set again, Cox Mill never relinquished the lead. With the score at 24-23 in favor of the Chargers, Reagan’s missed serve resulted in Cox Mill winning the set.
The Chargers were in the lead with a score of 2-1.
Despite being behind by one set and at risk of losing the fourth set, Reagan did not succumb to the pressure. The Raiders were able to keep up with the Chargers and even had a small lead of 14-13. However, the Chargers responded with a 4-0 run, taking a 17-14 lead and prompting Reagan’s first-year coach, Doug Balser, to call a timeout. Reagan managed to tie the score at 18, but a missed serve gave Cox Mill the momentum once again. Although Cox Mill also had a missed serve, they eventually gained a lead of 23-19. In the end, the Chargers held on to win the final set 25-23, thanks to a powerful kill by their junior captain, Ryan Hunter.
On Saturday, the Chargers will compete against Middle Creek, who has a record of 24-1, in the 4A state championship for volleyball.
Reagan finished their season with a perfect 37-0 record, including a flawless 14-0 performance in the Central Piedmont 4A Conference.