Cedar Ridge, Orange volleyball seasons paused due to COVID concerns

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Updated: December 15, 2020

A start-and-stop volleyball season is back on hold in Hillsborough.

The Cedar Ridge and Orange High volleyball teams have paused their seasons for two weeks. The two teams were told of the move on Monday morning by their respective coaching staffs.

The delay occurred after it was discovered a player on the Northwood Chargers volleyball team had tested positive for COVID-19. Likewise, Northwood’s season is also on hold for two weeks.

Cedar Ridge traveled to Northwood on Thursday, and Orange played the Chargers the following night in Pittsboro.

The 14-day period starts when the two teams played Northwood. Cedar Ridge would be eligible to return to action December 24. Orange is eligible on December 25.

Orange’s game at East Chapel Hill, scheduled for Monday night, was postponed hours before it was slated to begin. It’s the third time that a matchup between the Wildcats and the Lady Panthers has been delayed since the regular season started on November 19.

Cedar Ridge, who leads the Big 8 Conference with a 7-0 record, was supposed to start a four-game homestead against Orange on Tuesday night. The Red Wolves also had games against Northern Durham (Thursday), Chapel Hill (December 21) and East Chapel Hill (December 22). All of those matches will have to be rescheduled.

Orange had five games slated leading up to Christmas, including three this week. In addition to road games against East Chapel Hill and Cedar Ridge, the Lady Panthers were supposed to host Northwood on Thursday. Next week, Orange was supposed to play Vance County (December 21) and travel to Chapel Hill (December 22).

The shutdown means that Orange and Cedar Ridge not only can’t play games, they also can’t practice. It’s the second time this season that Orange has dealt with a shutdown. Though the regular season started in November, Orange didn’t play its first game until December 1 when they upset defending 3A State Champion Chapel Hill. (There was a forfeit victory over Vance County).

The two-week shutdown will put a crunch on both Orange and Cedar Ridge to finish its 14-game regular seasons. In its amended sports calendar, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association mandates that the regular season must end January 8.

Orange is 4-2, which means they have 14 days to play its final ten games. Cedar Ridge, who is ranked #5 in the state among 3A teams in the latest MaxPreps rankings, already had a match against Orange postponed from December 4 because of COVID concerns. It was rescheduled for January 6.

Teams across the Big 8 Conference have been forced to deal with COVID from the very beginning. Southern Durham High School was forced to cancel games after a positive case. The Spartans already have forfeited games against Cedar Ridge (December 8) and Orange (December 3).

Due to the abbreviated season, only two teams from the Big 8 Conference will make the state playoffs. Currently, Chapel Hill, East Chapel Hill and Orange are tied for 2nd in the loss column. The Tigers are 6-2, while East Chapel Hill is 5-2. The Wildcats defeated the Lady Panthers last Thursday in Hillsborough.

The first round of the state playoffs is scheduled for January 12. This year’s 3A State Tournament will be 32 teams, as opposed to the 64-team field which has been common in recent years across all classifications.

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