New Hanover soccer win, Ashley setback gives Wildcats division crown; Hoggard volleyball rolls in state playoffs

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Soccer

The race for first place in the Mideastern Conference came down to the final day of the regular season on Thursday. With identical 9-1-1 records in league play heading into the regular season finale, the New Hanover 2-0 victory and Ashley 3-1 overtime setback handed the Wildcats this year’s division crown and a top seed heading into the 4A playoffs.

Coach TJ Rennie and the New Hanover Wildcats are this year's conference champions. Photo courtesy- John Hinnant.
Coach TJ Rennie and the New Hanover Wildcats are this year’s conference champions. Photo courtesy- John Hinnant.

 

New Hanover 2     Topsail 0

Topsail hung tough with New Hanover during the opening 40 minutes of action until Robert Franck finished from the penalty spot early in the second half to guide the Wildcats to secure this year’s Mideastern Conference Title.

Franck tallied twice in the result, including an insurance score with under six minutes left in the regulation.

With Ashley’s overtime loss to Hoggard, New Hanover claimed the division at 10-1-1 in league play and 16-3-1 overall.

All local teams will get a little time to rest heading into postseason play. Seeding for states will take place on Thursday, Nov. 3. The first four rounds of the playoffs will take place over an eight-day stretch beginning on Sat. Nov. 5.

Jorge Gonzales kept the Pirates in the match early on with a key save 10 minutes into the opening period as both teams were scoreless at the break.

Hoggard 3    Ashley 1

Ashley challenged for its second straight conference championship this season and got off to a good start Thursday before Hoggard stormed back after the break as Cesar Cruz netted an overtime goal to lift the Vikings to a 3-1 win.

Ashley set the tone early with a couple of scoring chances and Josh Chapman put the garnet and gold ahead in the 9th minute, but Hoggard equalized after the break. Andrew Robinson fed Antony King for the game-tying score and Robinson tacked on an insurance goal with five minutes remaining in the extra period to secure the result.

At 10-2-1 in the division and 11-4-2 overall, Ashley finished second in the league standings and will host a home match to start the 4A state tournament. The Screaming Eagles are 19-3-2 in conference in two seasons under Coach Greg Marinich.

The Vikings close the regular season schedule at 7-3 in league play and 12-6 on the year. Hoggard will learn their playoff fate this weekend.

Laney 7    West Brunswick 2

The Bucs tallied four times after the break to finish the regular season with a 7-2 victory against West Brunswick. Both teams will get a bid to the playoffs, but will play on the road to open the state tournament.

Madie Schider. Photo courtesy- Rodney Williams
Madie Schider. Photo courtesy- Rodney Williams

 Volleyball second round state playoffs

4A bracket 

No. 4 Hoggard 3     No. 12 Sanderson 0

(25-22, 25-21, 25-20)

No. 4 Hoggard moved through the second round of the 4A playoffs following a 3-0 victory against No. 12 Sanderson on Thursday night to keep their season alive. The Vikings have not yet dropped a set in the state tournament, improving to 21-5 overall.

A strong all-around effort guided Hoggard to the result. Camille Whitlock provided a solid effort from the service line in the opening game, while Kirby Smith paced the attack late in the second set to take a commanding lead.

The Vikings hit the road for the first time this postseason on Saturday for a third-round match at No. 1 seed Green Hope.

 

3A bracket

No. 4 Southwestern Randolph 3    No. 5 South Brunswick 0

(29-27, 25-23, 25-21)

South Brunswick took the ride to Asheboro on Thursday night for a second-round 3A contest and battled with Southwestern Randolph in each of the three sets, but the Cougars came up short in a season ending setback between the four and five seeds.

 

North Carolina Christian School Association Playoffs

Wilmington Christian Academy 3    Vandalia Christian 0

(25-6, 25-10, 25-11)

Wilmington Christian Academy’s quest for yet another state title in volleyball came into focus on Thursday as the Patriots rolled over Vandalia Christian out of Greensboro in the third round of the North Carolina Christian School Association (NCCSA) 2A Tournament.

After receiving the one-seed out of the east division in the eight-team event following a 25-win regular season, Wilmington Christian grabbed a straight set 3-0 sweep to advance to the semifinals on Friday against Faith Christian.