Hoggard, Topsail volleyball lead local teams into state tournament

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Six local volleyball programs have qualified for the 2015 North Carolina High School Athletic Association Tournament (NCHSAA) as each program earned spots in the 64-team single elimination bracket. Each of the four classifications among NCHSAA members is divided into a 32-team East and West region. Higher seeds will play at home. Round one games get underway on Saturday, Oct. 24.

Logan Smith.
Logan Smith

In the 4A playoffs, Hoggard heads into postseason play after securing another Mideastern Conference regular season title, while also garnering the first-ever conference tournament championship this week. Coming off a 12-0 mark in the division, the Vikings received a No. 3 seed in the east and play host to Knightdale.

Sophomore Kirby Smith has served as the heavy hitter in the Hoggard attack with a team-high 221 kills. Senior Meagan Trotta is another attacker contributing this season, while classmate Logan Smith plays a key role in the passing game with 359 assists.

New Hanover grabbed a tournament bid after placing third in league play following an impressive turnaround season, but the Wildcats struggled down the stretch and dropped two of its last three matches and play on the road against No. 16 Apex.

Topsail was at top of the class among 3A members in the split Mideastern Conference and host Union Pines as an eight-seed. Senior Payton Shoenleber and Madi Ford have over 300 combined kills this season, while sophomore Angelica Biele has contributed 128 kills to the attack. Shoenleber has also been a consistent setter, while Marlee Marrotta is approaching 500 digs for the season in defense.

4A East

No. 3 Hoggard (13-2) vs. No. 30 Knightdale (10-12)

No. 16 Apex (15-6) vs. No. 17 New Hanover (13-6)

No. 8 D.H. Conley (18-2) vs. No. 25 Ashley (10-8)

No. 5 Cardinal Gibbons (14-3) vs. No. 28 Laney (11-10)

3A East

No. 8 Topsail (11-8) vs. No. 25 Union Pines (14-8)

No. 4 West Carteret (17-2) vs. No. 29 West Brunswick (9-9)

No. 2 Asheboro (20-2) vs. No. 31 South Brunswick (10-10)

2A East

No. 5 Farmville Central (16-1) vs. No. 28 North Brunswick (11-11)