Lady Panthers volleyball makes historic run
Franklin High School’s girls golf team finished the season on a good note this week, as two standouts qualified to represent FHS at the state tournament held at the Foxfire Resort and Golf club in Foxfire Village, N.C. Senior Carly Payseur shot a 103 in both rounds to finish 42nd overall. Sophomore Erin Campbell shot a 106 and 108 to finish 51st overall. f 13 teams and 78 individuals competed at the event. “I was pleased with our season this year,” said head coach David Morgan. “I felt like all the girls improved from last year. I think we need to be more consistent and confident in our shots next year and we will be a much better team in the future and a team to be reckoned with,” he said. “I want to congratulate Carly, Erin, Keirsten, and Sydney on a great season and for setting a lot of FHS gold records this year,” concluded Morgan.
The team finished third in the conference and every player managed to qualify to compete at the regionals tournament in Asheville on Oct. 24. The team placed sixth at the regionals match, an admirable achievement for the young team to build off of.
First on the list was Forestview; up next was Hickory, followed by a rematch with Enka and then a highly anticipated contest with St. Stephens. The Lady Panthers varsity volleyball team methodically disposed of each of those opponents in the 3A volleyball state championship tournament, and was able to achieve redemption against an Enka team that beat them back in late August. The Panthers played well enough to upset number one seed St. Stephens, Saturday evening, before finally falling to a great North Iredell team Tuesday night.
Franklin finished the season as the WNCAC champions, ranking 8th in the state’s 3A division and a national ranking of 556. Their overall record is 24-3, a resume any team would be thrilled to brandish. Furthermore, Franklin’s varsity volleyball program has never reached the state semifinals, a revealing fact that shows this team’s talent, work-ethic, and ability to execute. Simply put, the Lady Panthers had a season worthy of praise.
The rematch with Enka in the third round was exactly what Franklin was hoping for, and the Lady Panthers certainly made the most of the opportunity. Senior Lindsay Simpson led the team with 39 kills against Enka, while Senior Karey Conner pitched in 13 kills. Seniors Katie and Kacie Peck, a duo that has played consistently well throughout the season, contributed a combined 67 digs to set up Franklin’s powerful offense in their 3-2 victory over the Sugar Jets of Enka.
By defeating Enka, the team advanced to the fourth round to take on St. Stephens. The team hoped and expected to have a rematch with conference rival West Henderson in the fourth round, but instead the girls traveled to St. Stephens High School to square off against another number one seed. Once again, the Lady Panthers proved they were up to the challenge, beating St. Stephens in just four sets, earning an opportunity to play in the state semifinals for the first time in school history.
Senior Lindsay Simpson led the team with 30 kills against St. Stephens. Senior Karey Conner had 12 kills, while Maggie Stewart pitched in 8 kills. Vanessa Agrusa and Haylee Overholt each had 5 kills respectively. Stewart also had a great game at the net, racking up a total of nine blocks. Katie Peck led the team with 30 digs, as twin sister Kacie Peck and Karey Conner compiled 19 digs each.
The Lady Panthers played incredibly well the first four games of the tournament, marching defiantly towards a match against North Iredell, an undefeated team with a 28-0 record. Although the team was facing a top tier opponent in North Iredell, they played extremely hard in competing for a spot to play for a state championship, but ended up losing in three sets. Simpson recorded 15 kills, one block, 12 assists, and eight digs in her final game on the volleyball court as a Franklin Panther. Katie Peck led the team with 18 digs, while twin sister Kacie chipped in 10 digs and 5 assists to conclude their senior campaign.