TIC places four

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 22, 2007

HENDERSON – Four teams from the Tarheel Independent Conference have extended their season.

The North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association extended bids to 12 schools in division 1-A to continue their volleyball season in the state tournament.

Leading that group is TIC champion Lawrence Academy. The Lady Warriors finished the season 18-3 overall and are seeded third in the NCISAA tourney.

“I’m a little surprised, but very happy,” Warriors coach Dr. Ed Clouse said. “I didn’t think we would get a bye in the first round after losing in the conference tournament.”

Lawrence posted a perfect 12-0 mark inside the TIC during the regular season, but fell in the league tournament finals when Hobgood Academy pulled the upset.

The Warriors will await the winner of today’s (Tuesday) matchup between fellow TIC foes Hobgood and Albemarle School.

Dr. Clouse said he was excited to have four teams from the conference reach the state tournament, but said he thought the road to the quarterfinals was difficult.

“I think it makes it harder because we’ve played both of them three times,” he said. “Any time you play a team that much, you know each other’s strengths and weaknesses well.

“I really don’t have a preference which one we meet because they are both good teams and they are both well-coached,” Dr. Clouse added.

He also gave credit to Ridgecroft School Head Volleyball Coach Nancy Brittenham.

“I think Nancy did a great job,” he said. “We talked about it earlier and we both felt we’d be lucky to get three teams in, so I was very pleased with four in the field of 12.”

Brittenham said she too was pleased as her Lady Rams head into the state tournament for the fifth consecutive year.

“I’m kind of surprised,” she said. “I wasn’t sure we’d get in because we didn’t play as well at the end of the year as we did earlier.”

The Lady Rams, seeded number 10 will make the trek to Trinity Academy in Raleigh today for the opening round contest.

“It’s the same team we played last year, except the seeds are flipped around,” Brittenham said. “We have some experience with each other.”

The coach said her team needed to focus and play well to have a chance to pull the upset.

“Our records are very similar,” she said. “If we play like we’re capable of playing, we have an opportunity. Hopefully, our A team shows up.”

Statesville Christian School earned the number one seed in the tournament with their 25-1 overall record while two-time champion Cresset Christian Academy (19-5) is number two. Defending state champion and tournament host Kerr-Vance is the number four seed at 18-6 overall.

Fifth-seeded Cape Fear Christian (15-3) will host number 12 United Faith (12-7). The number eight seed is Wayne Christian School (8-9) and they will host Wayne Country Day School (14-5).