Despite losing six seniors from a stellar 2020 campaign, the Wayne Country Day Chargers hope to make another run in the North Carolina Independent Schools Athletic Association 2A volleyball playoffs this fall.
The season got off to a rocky start when the Chargers dropped their season opener against John Paul II on Monday.
So, the Chargers were looking for a bounce-back win in their home opener against Harrells Christian Academy on Tuesday, and it was not always easy, but the Chargers notched their first victory of the season.
The Chargers earned a 25-23, 21-25, 25-23, 25-12 victory against the Crusaders.
“Every day we are improving,” Wayne Country Day head coach Haleigh Wilhide said. “We have basically a whole new slate. I had six seniors and six starters, and they all graduated, so it’s a whole new team.
“It’s exciting because it’s a new season, and the girls are excited to play.”
Ja’Kea Brunson’s kill gave Wayne Country Day a 21-16 late in the first set, but the Crusaders stormed back and eventually narrowed the lead to 23-23, but the Chargers rallied won the first set.
The Chargers were hoping to keep a tight grip on the momentum in the second set.
Harrells had other plans in store for the Chargers. Wayne Country Day took a 10-9 lead off another Brunson kill, but that is when the Crusaders made their move.
Harrells responded by winning three straight points to take a 12-10 lead. The Chargers fought hard, but they could not take back the lead, and the Crusaders won the second set 25-21.
The third proved to be another back-and-forth set. Wayne Country Day — which had a few leads throughout the third set — found the score tied 23-23.
It looked like the Chargers were on the verge of dropping the third set, but the Chargers were able to restore order in the form of two straight points to win the third set.
“We have a few people, who were on the team last year, so they’re leading the pack, and they’ve been in adverse situations,” Wilhide said. “It’s helpful having them be able to lead the team.”
In the fourth and final set, the Chargers raced out to a 10-5 lead, but once again, the Crusaders battled back and eventually tied the game 14-14.
However, the young Chargers remained composed and managed to retake the lead and win the final set 25-17.
Wayne Country Day (1-1) travels to Fayetteville Academy (0-1) on Thursday.
“We’re still kind of figuring out the lineup, but it’s exciting to see the growth during the last few weeks,” Wilhide said.