Four games into the Big 8 season, it’s clear where Orange volleyball stands in the race for a 3-A state playoff birth.

They’re ahead of Cedar Ridge and Hillside, but behind conference favorite Chapel Hill, East Chapel Hill and Northwood.

The Chargers defeated the Panthers 3-1 on Tuesday night at Jim King Gymnasium in Hillsborough. Northwood improves to 8-1, 3-1 in the Big 8 on scores of 26-24, 22-25, 25-12 and 26-14.

Orange, which had a three-game winning streak come to an end, falls to 6-2, 2-2 in the Big 8.

The fourth set was a battle with nine ties and four lead changes. Northwood’s middle hitter Emily Nettles had the entire offense centered around her spiking. She had four kills in Northwood’s final six points, including the go-ahead point after Orange evened the fourth set at 24-24. Nettles also nothed the kill on match point.

For Orange, Emma Clements had two aces, eleven kills and 16 digs. Carolina Compton had one ace, one kill, 24 assists and eight digs. Bailey Lucas finished with three aces, three kills, nine assists and seven digs. Senior Avery Riley recorded ten kills.

Orange will have two games in two days starting on Thursday at Chapel Hill. They travel to Roxboro Community School on Friday night.

Cedar Ridge’s 1st conference match against Northern Durham didn’t have their desired result. The Knights defeated the Red Wolves 3-1 in Red Wolves Gymnasium on scores of 25-9, 25-11, 21-25 and 25-21.

Cedar Ridge, now 4-5, 0-4 in the Big 8, travels to East Chapel Hill on Thursday.

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