PCA update: Lady Raiders vs. Colts round three

Published 1:06 pm Friday, October 27, 2023

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PCA Athletics

Volleyball: PCA will face Albemarle School in the state championship for the third consecutive season Saturday at 2 p.m. in Elizabeth City. The Raiders have won the past two championships in straight sets against the Colts, but Albemarle has gotten the better of Pungo this year with two decisive victories. PCA will also not have the home court advantage as Albemarle is the #1 seed. The Raiders (14-7) have not played a road playoff game since 2020 when they lost to eventual state champion Lee Christian in the semifinals. The Colts (22-2) have not lost since August 24th.

The Raiders started the playoffs with a 3-1 home victory over Cresset Christian of Durham Autumn Gibbs led the Raiders with 15 kills. Allison Sawyer added 14 and Anna Stoop had 34 assists.

PCA defeated unseeded Halifax Academy, 3-2 to advance to the title match. The Raiders were playing in their fourth consecutive semifinals while Halifax advanced farther than they had in years after upsetting 6th seed Lawrence Academy and 3rd seed Lee Christian. PCA narrowly won the first two sets, 25 – 20 and 25 – 23 and were on the way to a sweep, leading 23-16 in the third. The Vikings roared back, outscoring the Raiders 10 – 1 to send the game to a fourth set, which the Vikings also won to force a decisive game five. The Raiders came out hot and held a 10 – 2 advantage before the Vikings rallied to tie the match at 11. Julia Rouse served the final three points for a 15-12 Pungo win.  Sawyer led PCA with 17 kills. Gibbs added 14 and Stoop had 31 assists.

Soccer: The Raiders won their first ever state playoff game with a dramatic 2 – 1 victory over 6th seed Ridgecroft School. The Rams struck first with a goal just five minutes into the first half. No one scored for the next 60 minutes before Brody Tooley scored for a 1-1 tie. with just under 20 minutes left. Each team turned up the intensity in the final 20, with both teams getting good looks at goal. 7th grader Brooke Baxter found the ball at his foot off a throw in from Maddox Lee, turned and scored from just outside the 18 to give PCA the lead with just over five minutes to play.

Tuesday Pungo made the three-hour trip to Mebane to take on 2nd seed Bradford Academy in the NCISAA 1A Boys Soccer Semifinals. Neither team was able to capitalize on quality looks early as the score was 0 – 0 at the half. It appeared that the game was destined for overtime until the Archers capitalized on a misplayed ball and found the back of the net to take a 1 – 0 lead with eight minutes left. The Raiders had a couple shots to find the equalizer, but couldn’t convert. The loss ends the Raiders season at 11 – 5 – 1 and ended the careers of four All-Conference players: Maddox Lee, Bo Spencer, Brandon Tooley and Austin Garrish. The Raiders have posted three straight 10 win seasons for the first time in school history, led by coach Victory Chavez. PCA returns 11 of its 15 players next season.

Tennis: 5th seeded PCA lost at 4th seeded Lawrence Academy, 6-1, in the state tournament quarterfinals. Kaitlyn Williamson was the lone winner in the #3 singles spot. The Raiders finished 6 – 7, a much improved from last season’s 1-11 mark. PCA loses six seniors in Williamson, Katie Baxter, Melanie Rutledge, Reese Blackman, Reagan Spruill and Savannah Pence.