It was a senior night to remember at Jim King Gymnasium.
Jordan Lloyd, Macy Hughes, Mileah Shriner, Eva Porter and Julia Lovingood played their final matches at home, which is noteworthy in itself. Porter and Lloyd have played together since 5th grade inside diminutive White Cross gym, where Lloyd’s father Joel coached the team.
Then there was the opponent, the race for playoff positioning and finishing the regular season strong. Orange faced Webb, who was a game ahead of OHS for 2nd place. However, the Panthers defeated the Warriors 3-1 in Oxford on September 22nd. A win for Orange would clinch 2nd place in the league.
And the Panthers got it, though they sure may everyone one of the parents sweat it out until the very end.
After roaring out to a 2-0 lead, the Panthers dropped the following two sets 25-15 and 25-16. In the 5th, Bailey Lucas had two aces as Orange bolted out to a 12-6 lead and held on to win 15-11.
With the win, the Panthers clinch 2nd place in the Big 8, finishing the regular season 11-9, 8-4 in the Big 8. Chapel Hill captured the conference championship with an 11-1 mark, losing only to Cedar Ridge two weeks ago.
In her final match in Hillsborough, Lloyd finished with two aces, 13 kills, 32 digs and an ace. Hughes had two aces, ten kills, one block and four digs. Porter had nine kills and twelve digs. Lovingood registered six kills and two digs. Shriner, with her father Bobby and brother Nicholas in the crowd, had an ace, seven kills, three blocks and four digs.
Like many other fall sports, Orange will now sit and wait for the playoff field, which was thrown into disarray after the North Carolina High School Athletic Association delayed each fall sport by one week due to heavy flooding in eastern North Carolina because of Hurricane Matthew. The playoff brackets won’t be announced until next Tuesday.