Friendly volleyball rivalry fuels title run for MB, NMB

Several local high school teams began their quests for a state volleyball championship last weekend, and there’s a strong possibility that the Class 4A crown once again will be decided along a short stretch of Highway 17.

Defending Class 4A state champion Myrtle Beach and reigning Lower State runner-up North Myrtle Beach took part in the Border Battle volleyball tournament against a strong field of state powers from North and South Carolina.

Although the two neighboring rivals didn’t meet head-to-head on the hardwood, the host Lady Chiefs emerged looking like the frontrunner by finishing in third place behind champion Wando and runner-up West Henderson (N.C.).  But the real “border battle” could prove to be the one divided by Briarcliffe Acres.

“This was just our second year (of the tournament) and we were able to bring in some really good teams,” said North Myrtle Beach coach Alex Sing, whose squad took Wando to a three-set thriller in the Gold Division final.

“We’re excited about the season. We have a lot of firepower back from last year, and you can tell the girls are focused. They got a small taste of it last year and our three seniors know it’s their last shot at it.”

Last year North Myrtle Beach narrowly missed out on a chance for their first state title since 2013 after losing in the Lower State final to Myrtle Beach, which went on to win the program’s first state championship.

The Lady Chiefs were left with the consolation prize of having defeated both the state finalists during the season. They beat Upper State champion Pickens in a tournament and took two showdowns with the Lady Seahawks.

“For the past six years the Lower State and State titles have come through the Grand Strand,” said Sing, who is in his second season with the Lady Chiefs. “When you have two good programs as rivals, it really pushes you.”

Ironically, Sing and Church have played major roles in transforming the area into a volleyball hot spot. Both have been involved in the Grand Strand Juniors club program, and they are now reaping the benefits with an influx of local talent

“When I started 19 years ago teams from the Hilton Head and Columbia areas would see us in the first round of the playoffs and be like, ‘OK, who do we play in the next round?’ ” Church recalled. “Now nobody wants to see us on their schedule.”

Along with other area high school teams, the Chiefs and Seahawks have stepped up their games with a steady stream of club-level players, like Myrtle Beach’s Gracie Davis and Caroline Brophy and North Myrtle Beach’s Kayla Henley and Raegan Matney.

“North Myrtle Beach is going to be very solid again this year, and there are some other tough teams like Hilton Head and Aiken in the Lower State,” Church said. “It’s a long season but it could come down to us two again.”

Sing certainly hopes so: “Larry and I are good friends and we support each other’s program. Until we play each other, I root for them to win. But when North Myrtle Beach plays against Myrtle Beach, it’s game on.”

Circle Sept. 11 on your calendar for that potential Lower State final preview. North Myrtle Beach had a hectic first week with road matches Tuesday at Socastee, Wednesday at St. James, and Thursday at Carolina Forest, which also competed in the Border Battle.

Myrtle Beach is off until the key showdown with the Chiefs. The Seahawks will hang their state banner in their opener on Sept. 18.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title game

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title gameThe Chanticleers scored nine runs over the first three innings [more]

Seahawks let state golf title slip from their grip

Seahawks let state golf title slip from their gripSports can be both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The full range [more]

Chants use walk-off home run to stay alive in Sun Belt

Chants use walk-off home run to stay alive in Sun BeltZach Biermann's third home run of the night with two [more]

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp

Myrtle Beach's Doty heads to nation's top QB camp Luke Doty’s Myrtle Beach legacy already includes some gaudy numbers, [more]

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination Thursday

CCU drops Sun Belt debut; faces elimination ThursdayCoastal Carolina baseball surrendered eight runs over the last three [more]

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debut

MB Track and Field Club makes big season debutEighteen members of the Myrtle Beach Track & Field Club [more]

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournament

Chants win season finale; host Sun Belt tournamentA two hour and five minute-lightning delay nor two Appalachian [more]

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrage

Clemson hammers Coastal with early offensive barrageSimilar to the two teams' first meeting back on March [more]

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach

Seahawks claim state title in tribute to late coach John Ed Cahill queued up an old voicemail from his [more]

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourney

MB golf team flying high, riding ties to state tourneyThe Myrtle Beach High boys golf team is tying its [more]

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state final

Lynch-inspired Seahawks advance to 4A state finalLL Coach. The somewhat cryptic rallying cry (Long Live Coach) was [more]

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinals

Soccer: MB, Socastee fall in lower state semifinalsMyrtle Beach’s season came down to about three minutes. In that [more]

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title run

South Aiken stops Lady Seahawks state title runThe closest thing to a blemish South Aiken had on [more]

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State opener

Green Wave sinks Sharks in Lower State openerIn any other game, St. James coach Robbie Centracchio may [more]

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semis

Soccer: Braves, Seahawks reach Lower State semisThe Socastee High boys soccer team crushed Cane Bay 5-0 [more]

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title match

Seahawks go from funeral to Lower State title matchEven after his death earlier this week, longtime Myrtle Beach [more]

Illing steps down as Socastee football coach

Illing steps down as Socastee football coachDoug Illing struggled with the emotions. He even fought himself trying [more]

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourney

Sharks top Swamp Foxes, reach lower state tourneyIt took a little longer than St. James fans may [more]

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeat

CF girls fall in first round for season-ending defeatHeading into the playoffs, Carolina Forest’s girls soccer team hoped [more]

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch

Seahawks draw inspiration from fallen coach Lynch John Edward Cahill III occasionally glanced at a spot at [more]

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semis

MB girls stun Hilton Head to reach Lower State semisFor all of the dominant results, all the blowouts and [more]

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor Lynch

Seahawks lose legendary tennis coach, mentor LynchCookie Goings was barely a teenager, an eighth grader running [more]

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring Classic

Local club hosts another solid Coast Spring ClassicMore than 400 teams from six states completed in the [more]

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pick

Renfrow claims NFL dream as Raiders' fifth-round pickFormer Socastee High and Clemson standout Hunter Renfrow was selected [more]

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champs

Lady Panthers charge into playoffs as region champsWhen Katie Kulick drove the ball past the West Florence [more]

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title game

Chants take doubleheader, reach Sun Belt title gameThe Chanticleers scored nine runs over the first three innings [more]

Seahawks let state golf title slip from their grip

Seahawks let state golf title slip from their gripSports can be both heartwarming and heartbreaking. The full range [more]

Comments are closed.

© 2019 Grand Strand Sports Report · RSS
Myrtle Beach Web Design
Kayaking in Myrtle Beach