Representing the aptly-named “Volleytown, N.C.,” Roxboro Community School fell in its first appearance in the N.C. High School Athletic Association volleyball championship game to defending state champion Community School of Davidson.
CSD swept the match 3-0 (25-19, 25-15, 26-24). The game was a rematch of last year’s 1A West final, when Roxboro (28-3) fell to CSD (22-1), and the Spartans went on to defeat Louisburg for the championship.
Much like a year ago, the Bulldogs had trouble defending against CSD’s powerful hitters. The only other losses Roxboro suffered this year were to county rival Person, which was undefeated before it fell in the 3A East final.
Roxboro Community and Person’s combined success helped usher in the “Volleytown” nickname that first coined in a preseason preview by Kelly Snow, the sports editor of the Courier-Times in Roxboro. The Bulldogs contingent outnumbered CSD fans.
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“It was really, really nice to see all those people out there that were from Roxboro, because we had the best section out there,” said senior setter Mackenzi Thornburg. “It’s fun to live up to that name because the whole community comes and gathers with us. It’s just amazing to have that much support.”
The decorated career of Thornburg came to a close.
One of four seniors on the team, she had 926 assists this season and ends her career with more than 2,600.
It’s also a goodbye for coach Meagan Kimbrough is also leaving the Bulldogs – she’s accepted a teaching job at Eno River Academy.
Kimbrough went 79-9 in three seasons.
Her seniors exit high school with a 102-10 record over their four-year varsity careers.
Thornburg said one day, when she has children, she’ll take them into the Roxboro gymnasium and be able to point out the banners recognizing these seasons she was part of.
“I think we ended really well,” senior libero Hannah Hawkins said. “Our goal from the beginning of freshman year was to get here.”
CSD’s Sara Labadorf was MVP after handing out 32 assists and notching eight digs. Thornburg led Roxboro with 11 assists, while Hawkins had seven digs. Junior Kenley Long had five kills.