Roberson is putting an exclamation point on its first conference-championship season in volleyball since 1998.
The Rams (20-7) continued their deepest postseason run in more than six years Tuesday by going on the road to sweep Porter Ridge, 3-0, out of the second round of the NCHSAA 4-A playoffs.
As a result, the Mountain Athletic Conference 4-A champions and their six seniors — Rachel Bryant, Moorea Dippel, Caroline Rawlings, Amber Roberts, Keagan Trahan and Hannah Wright — get at least one more home game.
Roberson hosts South Caldwell (16-9) tonight at 6 p.m.
“We’re really pumped-up,” Dippel said.
“We know we’re going to have great support from our administration and our student-body is going to come out full-blast. It’s definitely an advantage.”
“It’s been amazing,” Wright added.
“We didn’t think we would go this far. We’ve actually accomplished all our goals so we feel like we have nothing to lose. We’re going to give it all we’ve got to lengthen our season.”
Bryant has committed to Flagler (Fla.) and came into Tuesday with the team lead in kills (307). She had 21 more against Porter Ridge to go along with four service aces.
Setter Kathryn Sizemore, who is a junior, added 30 assists to her previous season total of 644.
Dippel had more digs (403) than any others Rams player prior to Tuesday, while Wright had made 192 kills.
“We really work together well as a team,” Bryant said.
“We’re close-knit and pick each other up on and off the court. It definitely helps when you’re that close. We win as a team and we lose as a team.”
Roberson was the only Western North Carolina team to beat MAC 3-A champion Enka during the regular season and Tuesday’s 25-20, 25-18, 25-11 playoff win at Porter Ridge was another big step for the team.
The last time the Rams got to the second round of the volleyball playoffs (as a 3-A team in 2006 and 2007), they lost both times.
They were beaten 3-0 in a first-round match at Watauga in 2011, which was the first year for Roberson coach Michelle Cadavid. Cadavid had been an assistant coach at Western Carolina University before coming to Skyland.
“This season has been the most fulfilling experience in my coaching career,” Cadavid said.
“This is the best group I’ve ever coached. They’re just so hard-working and competitive. It’s a delight, and it’s been very fulfilling as a coach.”