Volleyball

FOREST CITY — One look at the 2A Southwestern Conference opponents for R-S Central, CHASE and East Rutherford shows what should be a difficult conference to navigate once again.

Below is a preview of the Cleveland and Gaston County volleyball programs that the Hilltoppers, Trojans and Cavaliers will face this season

Shelby

2019 results: 13-14 overall record, 9-3 in conference, lost in straight sets to East Lincoln in the first round of the 2A NCHSAA playoffs.

The Golden Lions will return just four players off last year’s varsity roster. Among those returning include junior Kate Hollifield, who led the team with 209 kills and sophomore Allie Hollifield, who recorded 99 kills.

Shelby will look to replace senior libero Katie Bridges, who finished her senior season with 138 kills, 73 aces and 441 digs. Bridges also earned conference defensive player of the year last season.

Also gone from the Golden Lions attack is Sara Mac Wood, who finished the year with 180 kills and Madison Tuttle who produced 143 kills. The two also combined for 54 aces.

The Golden Lions dropped all three contests against R-S Central, but went 5-0 against East Rutherford and CHASE.

Burns

2019 results: 6-14 overall record, 2-10 in conference.

Burns will return five players from last year’s varsity roster. No stats were available for the Bulldogs.

In 2019, Burns went 2-0 against CHASE, but 0-4 against East Rutherford and R-S Central.

East Gaston

2019 results: 16-9 overall record, 8-4 in conference, was defeated in straight sets by Brevard in the first round of the 2A NCHSAA playoffs.

East Gaston returns its’ top three attackers from a year ago as junior Rachel Green (160 kills), Junior Sierra Soles (151 kills) and senior Maddie Miller (141 kills) will look to lead the Warriors as they hope to improve on a third-place finish a year ago.

While East Gaston loses its’ top server Savannah Soles (61 aces), the next three aces leaders will return.

Last season, East Gaston went 0-2 against R-S Central, but was a perfect 4-0 against East Rutherford and CHASE.

South Point

2019 results: 13-9 overall record, 7-5 in conference, was defeated by Foard in straight sets in the first round of the 2A NCHSAA playoffs.

Like East Gaston, South Point will return its’ top three attackers from last season as junior Chloe Ratliff (234 kills), senior Anna Dunbar (214 kills) and senior Georgia Smith (125 kills) all return to the Red Raiders’ attack.

Junior server Emily Revels also returns after leading the team with 59 aces a year ago.

In total, South Point returns 11 varsity players from a season ago.

Last year, South Point went 5-0 against East Rutherford and CHASE, but was 0-3 against R-S Central.

Look for a preview of East Rutherford, R-S Central and CHASE in a future edition of The Daily Courier.