APA wins inaugural Ramsey volleyball tourney at LCC
Arendell Parrott Academy won the first Jessica Ramsey Memorial volleyball tournament Saturday at Lenoir Community College, defeating Ayden-Grifton in straight sets. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
The inaugural Jessica Ramsey Memorial tournament provided a dream final Saturday.
Arendell Parrott Academy defeated Ayden-Grifton 21-18, 21-17 in the championship match, ending a strong day of volleyball at Lenoir Community College. Eight teams participated in the event, including South Lenoir and the two local finalists.
The Patriots didn't drop a set in five games and while the matchup with the Chargers was the closest, APA held firm.
“That was Parrott volleyball — we bent, but didn’t break,” Patriots coach David Barnes said. “They had a great net game, but we did more than enough to stay alive.”
After the teams split the first 16 points, Ayden-Grifton went on a 6-0 run, highlighted by two Emily Dykes kills to take a 14-8 lead. The Chargers were ahead 18-13, but kills from Mackenzie Pope and Alli Grant Avery triggered an 8-0 to close the set out, with Jorja Tuten picking up seven service points.
“We had some phenomenal serves toward the end of that set, down six points,” Barnes said. “Jorja did a great job, and I told the team before this game it would come down to whoever served the toughest and passed the best.”
APA missed four serves early in the second set, allowing Ayden-Grifton to take an 8-5 advantage, but rallied to tie it at 10 after an Avery block. Dykes countered with a kill on the next point and the Chargers went up 16-14, but the Patriots scored six unanswered — highlighted by an Avery kill and Virginia Edmondson service ace — to control the game match.
The Patriots have already started playing this season, but Ayden-Grifton’s season-opener is Monday against South Central. Chargers coach Linda Bryant said the tournament was helpful, especially playing against Parrott after winning its other four games by straight sets.
“We were able to point out our weaknesses and what we need to work on,” Bryant said. “As long as we can come back and overcome those problems, we’ll be just fine.”
The Blue Devils fell to APA and West Johnston before defeating Richlands in round-robin play. South Lenoir lost to Goldsboro in the tournament quarterfinals, and SL coach Lisa Smith said her team will have to continue improving before Tuesday’s season-opener at Swansboro.
“We’re making strides out there, but hopefully they see what happens when they don’t communicate,” Smith said. “We were able to see that with some of the teams here, and as long as we can do that, we should be good.”
APA faces Rolesville Thales Academy at home Wednesday.