Hatcher ends volleyball career at Northeast Academy

Published 9:39 am Friday, October 13, 2023

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LASKER – Northeast Academy celebrated senior volleyball standout Kennedy Hatcher last week.

Northeast Academy senior Kennedy Hatcher was recognized before last Thursday’s volleyball match. She is joined by her mother and coach, Shelly Hatcher. Contributed Photo

Unfortunately for the home team, Ridgecroft School, celebrated a Tarheel Independent Conference win. The Rams topped Northeast in straight sets.

Hatcher, the Eagles’ lone senior and the captain of the 2023 squad, was honored before the game by her coach, teammates, and the fans of the NEA. She led the team in digs and assists while being in the top three in serving, serving percentage and kills per set.

While Hatcher and her teammates battled Ridgecroft, they came up short to their rivals.

Ridgecroft jumped out to an early lead behind the serving of Camryn Taylor and a kill by Makenzie Slaughter, eventually going ahead 7-3 before turning the serve over to Layla Oliver. Oliver rolled off four straight points off her serve, three of which weren’t returned.

NEA Coach Shelly Hatcher called a timeout, which helped the Eagles put a stop to the run.

Kylie Allen delivered a kill to get the serve back into the hands of NEA sophomore Camryn Rawls, who helped the Eagles close within 11-5.

A few points later, Chloe Long came up with two digs on the same volley to help Northeast rally back to within 12-6.

Trailing 17-7 later in the set, an Allen dig and a serve by Addison Newsome helped the Eagles close back to within 17-8.

Ridgecroft sophomore Klaire Cherry helped the Rams pull away again, rolling off four straight points – one on a kill from Camryn Taylor – as Ridgecroft took a 22-10 lead.

Kennedy Hatcher had a dig to stop the Ridgecroft run and then Long had three aces in a row to help Northeast rally to 23-16.

The Rams closed out the set with an ace from Hanna Slaughter, as Ridgecroft won 25-16.

The second set was a close one throughout.

Trailing 2-0, Rawls delivered a winning shot for the Eagles. That was followed by a winner from Allen on a Long serve as Northeast pulled into a 2-all tie.

Oliver had a kill for the Rams, which was countered by a winner from Allen as the score remained tied all the way to 5-all.

Allen took over the serve and scored five straight points to help the Eagles surge ahead 10-5.

Two points later, Makenzie Slaughter took over the serve and recorded three straight points for the Rams, drawing them to within 10-9.

The teams battled back-and-forth from there until Cherry took over the serve for the Rams. She got three points for Ridgecroft, helping the Rams take a 14-12 lead from which they never looked back.

Slaughter added a kill and Taylor had an ace for the Rams as they eventually surged ahead 18-13.

Northeast rallied thanks to a kill from Lindsay White on a serve by Rawls as they got within 19-16.

Neither team could pull away, but the Rams maintained their lead, winning the set 25-18.

The third set was much like the second, with neither team able to really pull away.

Oliver started the final set with a kill for the Rams, but was answered when Hayes Hatcher did the same for Northeast.

With the Rams leading 4-2, Kennedy Hatcher had a winning shot and turned the serve over to Long, who recorded four straight points as the Eagles led 6-4.

They maintained that advantage a few points later when Allen delivered a kill on a Rawls serve that pushed the lead to 9-6.

Ridgecroft rallied thanks to a pair of service points from Cherry to tie the score at 11-all.

Hayes Hatcher garnered a winning shot, which was followed by Kennedy Hatcher winning five straight points on her serve as the Eagles went ahead 17-11.

Ridgecroft ended the run and Taylor took the serve and rolled off eight consecutive points – including an ace – as the Rams took a 20-17 lead.

Despite a winning point from Long, the Eagles couldn’t rally back and Ridgecroft claimed the 25-19 win.

In the jayvee match, Northeast claimed a victory, defeating the Rams 27-25, 25-27 and 15-8.

The Tarheel Independent Conference tournament was held this week at Ridgecroft School.