A stirring speech from assistant coach Rob Nevins foreshadowed the king of night to come for the Charlotte varsity volleyball team Thursday, Sept. 26. Nevins addressed the crowd about breast cancer awareness minutes before the team unveiled new pink uniforms in support.
The team, backed by a raucous student section, proceeded to win an exciting five-set match against Mason — 25-22, 25-17, 13-25, 23-25, 15-11. The win moved the Orioles to 16-6-1 on the season and 4-1 in the CAAC Gold with Lumen Christi scheduled to finish out the first round of league play on Thursday, Oct. 3.
“The student/parent support has been outstanding this year,” head coach Dennis Richardson said. “Versus Mason last week, the referees commented on how loud it was in the dome during the varsity match. Many people are coming to the JV and freshmen matches also to support them. It is a wonderful thing when your team gets motivated by the crowd and their cheers.”
The team has given the hometown crowd a lot to cheer about this season. Charlotte has moved through the first half of league play with just the single loss. Richardson said he expects the Orioles to continue their strong play throughout the remainder of the season.
“With the leadership, talent and togetherness of this year’s team, I would hope that on our last match of the year at home against Lumen we will be playing for a league title,” Richardson said.
Leading the way for the Orioles in the win against Mason in blocks kills were juniors Emily Helfrich with six and Kensey VanPatten with five. The defensive effort continued with digs, paced by junior Stephanie Zimmerman, 18 and seniors Cheyenne Schimdt, 17 and Maggie Goeman, 14. Senior Ashliegh Rienbold had 38 assists to seven different players who recorded kills — seniors Hannah Smith, six, Goeman, seven, juniors Mikayla Skowronski, six, Helfrich, five, Kirstin Anderson, five, Maddie Grace, three, and Kensey VanPatten, five.
The team is scheduled to compete in the Haslett Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 5 and then host Waverly on Thursday, Oct. 10.