Midway through the regular season, one Union County volleyball team has separated itself from the pack in the race for best in the county. In this edition of The Enquirer-Journal’s Super Six volleyball poll, Sun Valley takes the top spot.
The Spartans are the county’s only undefeated team at 8-0 and looked poised for their first ever Southern Carolina Conference championship. Sun Valley has a two-game lead in the league standings and has only dropped one set all season.
Sun Valley sophomore Hailey Pearce ranks third in the SCC in kills (82) and blocks (15), while fellow sophomore Amaya Hall leads all county players in assists (198). Senior Taylor Parker has a county-best 67 service aces this season.
Sun Valley has a busy weekend, taking on Parkwood Friday and Weddington on Saturday. Weddington is ranked No. 2 in the Super Six. The Warriors were swept by the Spartans in their first meeting of the season.
Junior Lyvia Trimp paces Weddington in kills, ranking second in the county with 91. The Warriors also have the No. 1 and No. 2 players in the county in digs in senior Chloe Bays (71) and Trimp (69).
Coming in at No. 3 in the Super Six is Porter Ridge, which has bounced back nicely after back-to-back losses to Myers Park and Hickory Ridge, winning two straight to improve to 7-2 on the season.
The Pirates are 7-2 through their first nine matches for the second season in a row. Last year, Porter Ridge went 18-7 overall and fell to Page High (Greensboro) in the first round of the 4A state playoffs. This year the Pirates have the Southwestern 4A Conference league leader in kills in sophomore Megan Brandon (78).
Union County’s top program throughout the past decade has been Marvin Ridge, which checks in at No. 4 in The E-J’s midseason Super Six poll. The Mavericks have developed into a perennial state title contender, and won the 3A state title in 2018 with a 44-2 record. The 44 wins remain a state record.
But losses to Weddington and Sun Valley have head coach Brook Hammers’ team on the outside looking in for the 2020-21 regular season conference title.
But don’t count the Mavericks out just yet. Marvin Ridge senior Mac Russ leads the county in kills with 102 and senior Katie Jamerson ranks second in UC in assists with 182.
Cuthbertson ranks fifth in the poll. The Cavaliers are in fourth place in the SCC standings with a 5-3 record. While the Cavaliers are likely too far out of it to win a conference title this season, they did have one of the signature wins of the first half — a 3-0 sweep of Weddington at home last Tuesday.
Union Academy, the County’s only 1A school, is sixth in the poll. The Cardinals are in third place in the PAC 7 Conference at 6-2. They trail 9-0 Mountain Island Charter and 6-2 Community School of Davidson in the standings.
The Cardinals are led by junior Ryleigh Clayborn, who paces the team with 62 kills, as well as senior Savanna Brooks, who has 47 kills to go along with 24 service aces and 56 digs. Sophomore Lauren Munday leads all PAC 7 players with 187 assists this season.