High school volleyball

North Myrtle Beach volleyball reaches Class AAA state finals

jbell@thesunnews.comOctober 31, 2012 

— The North Myrtle Beach volleyball team made it to the Class AAA state finals for the first time ever, with a dominant road performance.

The Chiefs had an easy bus ride back to North Myrtle Beach after winning 3-0 (25-20, 25-13, 25-13) over Airport on Wednesday.

North Myrtle Beach boarded the team bus for the 3 hour drive to West Columbia, mentally prepared and ready for a fight. When the match was done, the Chiefs stood victorious, having beaten yet another opponent. “We attacked, attacked, attacked,” North Myrtle Beach coach Estelle Barentine said. “I thought we played unbelievable. We played awesome. We are so ready to go to [the state finals] and win.

“We played probably the best game we’ve ever played. Everybody stepped up. It was just a great team effort. We’ve never played so great.”

Ellen Johnson led the way with 19 kills, while Taylor Allman added 17 of her own. Madison Treece and Tara Hix paid dividends in the passing game having 23 and 19, respectively. Moriah Jones played a role in keeping Airport low on scoring with 19 digs.

It’s safe to say confidence is high in the Chiefs locker room, and for good reason. They thrived in a hostile environment with stakes that couldn’t be any higher. If there is anything to be said about the 2012 North Myrtle Beach volleyball squad, it’s that no situation has proved insurmountable.

“We started off strong and we just stayed strong. We were already made of iron,” Barentine said. “The second game, their fans were right behind us and we were serving, standing like a foot from them, and they were [very hostile] but it didn’t phase us. We [only lost] two serves the whole match. We were great.”

On Saturday at 3:30 p.m., the Chiefs will walk into new territory at White Knoll High School in Lexington, facing a whole different type of monster: the South Carolina Volleyball State finals. A huge first for North Myrtle and it has had an eye on this match since the start of the season.

“Oh it’s a great feeling, it really is,” Barentine said. “These girls worked so hard, they deserve it. We started working in the offseason and they all play club. It’s just a great feeling, to know that we’ve accomplished our goal. Now winning, that’s the icing on the cake. That’s what we want to do.”

With a successful season behind them, North Myrtle Beach appears ready for its last match of the year. The many practices and hours of preparation have all come down to this. No one knows the importance of this match more than Estelle Barentine.

“We’ve done everything we can do. We just have to execute,” Barentine said. “The good thing about the Chiefs is that we are a team. We play like a team. Now I don’t know, do they (Pickens) have a great team? I don’t know. I guess we’ll find out.”

Contact JOSH BELL at 444-1702

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