Arendell Parrott defeats top-ranked Cary Christian in consecutive days
Arendell Parrott keeps its undefeated record intact after defeating Cary Christian Tuesday at home. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
Monday was a statement for Arendell Parrott. Tuesday was the underline.
The Patriots defeated Cary Christian 25-23, 23-25, 25-20, 25-19 Tuesday, their second consecutive victory over the NCISAA top-ranked team according to Maxpreps. One day prior, the teams met in Cary as Parrott (15-0) won in four sets to knock off the previously undefeated Knights.
Tuesday's game had the feel of a playoff game with numerous rallies, lead changes, momentum swings and spectacular plays throughout. In the end, the Patriots left victorious and on the inside track to a fourth straight Coastal Rivers Conference regular-season title.
“You take an undefeated team ranked No. 1 in the state and not only did we find a way to beat them once, we did it twice,” Barnes said. “(Monday) was just like (Tuesday): back and forth, volleys, tight scores. We had to fight for everything we’ve got, but these kids are resilient. They bought in to the program — they understand last year they were 26-1 and were conference champs three years in a row. They just refuse to lose.”
Cary Christian (18-2) opened the first set up 9-3, but Parrott fought back to tie the game at 12 after a pair of Alli Grant Avery service aces. The Patriots took a 20-19 advantage on a Mackenzie Pope shot, but after the Knights' Brianna Frazilus picked up the next point on a kill, APA went on a 4-1 run to eventually take over.
There were 10 ties and five lead changes in the second set, with neither team going up by more than four. A Logan Mosley kill gave Cary Christian a 15-11 advantage, but Parrott fought back, eventually going up 19-17. The Knights wouldn't be denied, as another Mosley kill broke a tie at 23 before closing out the set to tie the game at 1.
The third set would be heavily contested as well with nine ties and three lead changes occurring in the first 23 points. Cary Christian seemed to have the advantage up 19-14, but Avery’s kill would set up a dominant stretch from APA, as the Patriots would close the set on an 11-1 run to push the Knights to the brink.
“It felt good to come back after beating them (Monday) and even though we started off a little rocky, we finished strong,” APA’s Gabby Carriere said. “We picked the energy up and played better as a team.”
The Knights appeared to shake off the Patriots run, eventually taking an 18-15 lead in the fourth set. APA would respond with another great spurt, getting 10 of the game’s final 11 points, capped off with an Avery kill to end the match.
“We got some great momentum points and built off of that,” Avery said. “We’re going to build off this, get better, keeping our eyes on the big goals of winning the conference championship and then making it back to the state championship game. We know we have to play great teams in order to get ready for that.”
Avery finished the game with 30 kills, with Pope adding 15 kills and 22 assists.