This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is freshman Victoria Matthews. This season, Victoria shot the lowest average for the Cedar Ridge women’s golf team, coached by Chris Casey. This season, she opened with a 67 during a Central Carolina Conference meet at Occoneechee Golf Course in Hillsborough, which is her favorite place to play. Matthews is an all-around athlete who has softball as her main sport. She will begin her first season with the Cedar Ridge softball team in February. Victoria averaged a 70 throughout the Central Carolina Conference season. Victoria, Alice Ann Koehler and Emily Worthy helped re-establish the Cedar Ridge women’s golf team this fall after there was no team last year. Matthews also has plans to play other sports as she continues her stint at Cedar Ridge.
This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is junior golfer Bradley Monschein. Earlier this month, Monschein qualified for the 3A State Golf Championships at Pinehurst #6. Over two days against the best competition in the state, Monschein was one of 84 golfers to qualify for the state championships. He was the only one from Hillsborough. On May 2, Monschein finished tied for 19th at the Mideast Regionals at The Valley Golf Course in Burlington. This was the second year in a row that Monschein had qualified for the regionals. It was the first time he qualified for the state championships. Monschein had a 4.33 grade-point average at Cedar Ridge. In addition to his accomplishments in the classroom, he finds time to play golf about six times a week during the season. Most notably, he enjoys playing at Occoneechee Golf Course in Hillsborough. Monschein made the All-Central Carolina Conference team for the second year in a row. He also played junior varsity baseball during his sophomore season. Faced against competition from Western Alamance this year, Monschein looks to improve for a solid senior season under Cedar Ridge men’s golf coach Chris Casey.
This week’s Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week is senior Olivia Aitkin. Olivia won this award in her sophomore year for swimming when she qualified for the 3A Mideast Regionals. This time, she earns it for golf. Aitkin qualified for the 3A Central Regional Golf Championship after the conclusion of the regular season at Mill Creek Golf Club in Mebane. But Aitkin’s best sport is softball, where she is the starting centerfielder for the Red Wolves. Recently, Aitkin announced her commitment to play at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Last season, Aiken was the starting centerfielder for the Red Wolves. She hit .404 with 19 hits. She was third on the team with 20 RBIs as the Red Wolves finished 9-5 in a tough Big 8 Conference. At Amherst, Olivia will study Law Jurisprudence and Social Thought. But first, she will complete her final season of softball at Cedar Ridge alongside fellow seniors Takia Nichols, Ava Lowry and Lexi Bonin. The CCC will have new powerhouse teams Eastern Alamance and Western Alamance, which will make the competition as deep as any league in the state.
Photo by Angie Hurdle
There’s a wonderful uncertainty about conference tournaments that you can’t experience until you see it yourself.
Look no further than Monday night at Orange. The Lady Panthers volleyball team faced Western Alamance, a team that Orange had little trouble with in the regular season. Just last week, Orange traveled to Elon, could have parked in a one-hour zone and faced no repercussions, disposing of the Warriors 25-22, 25-8 and 25-15.
It was considerably different on Monday. No one could explain why, but the Warriors jumped out to a 2-sets-to-nothing lead. Perhaps Orange looked ahead to a potential third matchup against Cedar Ridge on Tuesday. Perhaps Western Alamance was more motivated to make a run for a 3A State Playoff birth.
A week after dominating the Warriors, the Lady Panthers had to rally and rally in order to pull out its second five-set win of the season, and its first since the season opener against Jordan. To start the fifth set, Western Alamance led 5-0 after several close calls went against Orange, which sparked a comeback triggered by junior Allie Wilkerson, who has consecutive kills.
After Avery Miller earned a side out for Orange to reduce the Western Alamance lead to 10-6, Orange sophomore libero Sadye Porter lined up to serve. And she would serve nine consecutive points to finish out the match. During that run, Wilkerson had two blocks and two kills, including match point as Orange finally earned a 15-10 fifth set win and the match.
The lesson is that in conference tournaments, nothing is ever certain.
While conference tournaments were common in men’s and women’s basketball during the Big 8 Conference, they were a non-entity in volleyball. But not in the Central Carolina Conference. And now, on Tuesday night, Orange and Cedar Ridge will meet for a third time this season.
As Western Alamance proved on Monday, it’s hard to beat a team three times.
It was another strong week for Hillsborough volleyball last week, which brings us to the Magnificent 7. Here are the seven athletes who established themselves last week on the tennis court, volleyball court, soccer pitch and gridiron:
Olivia Aitkin: A three-sport athlete at Cedar Ridge, Aitkin qualified for the 3A Central Women’s Golf Regionals. Aitkin competed in the Central Carolina Conference Tournament at Mill Creek Country Club in Mebane. Aitkin also recently committed to play softball at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
Melissa Benkowitz: The Cedar Ridge volleyball team had three players register 100 kills during the regular season. Benkowitz, who was arguably East Chapel Hill’s best player in 2020, transferred to Cedar Ridge over the summer and has grown into her role as an outside hitter. In the regular season finale against Carrboro last Wednesday at Red Wolves Gymnasium, Benkowitz led Cedar Ridge with eight kills. She also had six digs as the Red Wolves broke the school record for most wins in a regular season with 23. Cedar Ridge also finished with a perfect 12-0 record in the CCC after sweeping Williams on Monday.
Chloe Patz: A senior co-Captain for the Cedar Ridge women’s tennis team, Patz earned her first trip to the Mideast Regionals during the Central Carolina Conference tournament on Friday. Patz defeated a participant from Northwood to extend her season. Patz has been Cedar Ridge’s regular #2 singles player this season and has had several key victories, including one against Northwood on September 27 to ensure a 6-3 win. Northwood would go on to claim a share of the CCC championship with Walter Williams.
Jera Hargrove: Reached the 3A Mideast Regional women’s tennis finals for the third time in her career last week. Hargrove teamed with Erin Sollars in doubles play to defeat Williams’ Kaori Naruse and Lauren Turner during the Central Carolina Conference Tournament at the Burlington Tennis Center. Hargrove reached the Mideast Regionals in her freshman and sophomore years as a singles player. She was one of six Orange women’s tennis players who qualified for the Mideast Regionals.
Avery Miller: Had 12 kills and eight digs as the Orange volleyball team ended the regular season with a 3-0 win over Eastern Alamance on Thursday. It was Miller’s final regular season game for the Lady Panthers. Last Tuesday, Miller had five kills in a win over Western Alamance.
Ella Wimsatt: Led Orange with eleven kills in the win over Western Alamance. Also had a strong game against Eastern Alamance in Mebane as Orange secured fourth place in the CCC. The Lady Panthers will likely host a 3A State Playoff game on Saturday.
Konnor Johnson: The Orange freshman midfielder scored two goals as the Panthers defeated Person 4-2 on Wednesday at Rocket Stadium. Johnson also set up several scoring opportunities for the Panthers in its 1-1 draw with Cedar Ridge at Orange Soccer Park on October 11. It was the first brace for Johnson in his varsity career. He has four goals on the season.
Orange 7, Cedar Ridge 2: For the third year in a row, the Orange women’s tennis team will have a winning season.
Not only that, but with one more win, the Lady Panthers will have its most wins since they returned to the 3A ranks in 2012.
On Wednesday, Orange completed a season sweep of Cedar Ridge with a 7-2 win at Orange Tennis Courts. It concluded a long 48-hour stretch fo the Lady Panthers that started on Tuesday when they completed a suspended match against Walter Williams, then played an entire dual match against the Bulldogs.
Against the Red Wolves, Orange (11-4 overall, 5-3 in the Central Carolina Conference), senior Tea Jones had two wins on the day. At #4 singles, Jones won 6-4, 6-2. Jones teamed with senior Jinkie Andrews to win at #3 doubles 8-4. So far in 2021, Jones has an overall record of 16-8.
Cedar Ridge sophomore Cameron Mayhew also earned two wins on the afternoon. Mayhew captured her match at #1 singles 6-3, 7-5. After dark, Mayhew teamed with senior Chloe Patz at #1 doubles to win over Finley White and Grace Pell 8-1.
Pell, a sophomore, improved to 11-4 in singles action this year. At #2 singles, Pell prevailed in a three-set match over Patz 6-3, 2-6, 10-7 (10-point tiebreaker). It was the fifth time this year that Pell has played in a three-set match, and the second time it happened against Patz.
Senior Jinkie Andrews won 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 at #3 singles for Orange. Sophomore Erin Sollars and freshman Shannon Sollars earned singles victories for Orange.
Jera Hargrove & Erin Sollars won at #2 doubles 8-3.
Cedar Ridge 5, Northwood 4: On Monday, Cedar Ridge became the first women’s tennis team two hand Northwood a loss in CCC action.
After nearly three hours of action, the entire dual match came down to the final doubles match. Cedar Ridge’s freshmen duo of Ella Caltabiano and Adeline Cummings defeated Northwood’s Kaylee Fisher & Kendall Leberge 8-3 to earn the Red Wolves biggest win of the season.
Cedar Ridge captured three of the five singles matches. Sophomore Cameron Mayhew pulled out a tight match over Evelyn Lippers 7-6 (7-5), 7-5. Mayhew is 6-2 in singles action this year.
The Red Wolves won both singles matches that went to three sets. At #2, Patz defeated Julia Earnshaw 1-6, 6-2, 10-8. At #5 singles, senior Olivia Kelly defeated Fisher 6-2, 2-6, 10-8. Cummings won at #6 singles 6-1, 6-2.
Walter Williams 5, Orange 4: In the completion of a suspended match from earlier this month, Williams held off to take sole possession of 2nd place in the CCC.
The completion of the suspended match wasn’t decided until the final doubles match. Williams’ Kaori Naruse & Lauren Taylor defeated Andrews & Jones 9-7 to take the match. Pell and Andrews won singles matches for Orange.
Orange evened the overall dual match with wins at #1 and #2 doubles. Finley White and Grace Pell teamed to win at #1 doubles 8-6. At #2 doubles, Erin Sollars and Jera Hargrove won 8-2.
Williams 5, Orange 4: Another match that wasn’t decided until #3 doubles. White & Pell won at #1 doubles 8-5, while Hargrove & Sollars captured the #2 doubles match 8-1.
Pell won at #2 singles 8-3. Shannan Sollars won the only other Orange player to win a singles match, defeating Lauren Turner 8-5.
Orange is 11-4 overall, 5-3 in the CCC with two dual matches remaining in conference play. Orange will hold its senior night match next Thursday against Roxboro Community School.
In the fourth Central Carolina Conference meet of the season, Cedar Ridge senior Olivia Aitkins had her best finish of the season at Caswell Pines Golf Course in Blanch. Aitkins finished with a 49 and wound up tied for fifth in a eight-team meet.
Aitkins, who committed to play softball at Amherst College last week, was the highest placer among any of the Hillsborough participants.
Orange’s Samantha Durham had her best round of the season with a 50, which was best among the Lady Panthers. Orange senior Sarah Durham had a 57. Shannon Dorsi, Kayla Pope and Lucia Godinez also participated.
Eastern Alamance’s Emily Matthews finished first with a 33. Western Alamance’s Makayla Martinez finished 2nd with a 39, and the Warriors won the overall team standings with 137. Northwood was second with 144.
It’s already that time.
The dog days of October are here. Games that will decide Central Carolina Conference champions will start as soon as tonight when Cedar Ridge volleyball faces Northwood at Red Wolves Gymnasium. The Red Wolves swept the Chargers on September 2 in Pittsboro, Northwood’s only league loss. If Cedar Ridge wins tonight, they essentially have a three game lead (they’ll control the head-to-head tiebreaker over the Chargers, along with a two-game lead In the standings) with four conference games remaining.
Last week, the North Carolina High School Athletic Association released its first round of RPI rankings for volleyball, which revealed positive news for both Hillsborough volleyball teams. Cedar Ridge was ranked #1 in the 3A East region, even after its loss to D.H. Conley (which is a 4A team) on Monday. The Red Wolves were the highest among five Central Carolina teams ranked in the top 15 for the region. Person was #3, Northwood #4, Orange was #7 and Eastern Alamance #15.
J.H. Rose was #2.
One wrinkle that stood out from an Orange perspective was the Lady Panthers have played possible the toughest schedule of any team in the region. The winning percentage for Orange’s opponents was .715, the only scored in the region with a figure in the 70% range. Cedar Ridge, which has already played the defending 3A State Champions twice, was second in the region at .691.
Volleyball isn’t the only sport where conference championships are being contested, of course. In women’s tennis, Cedar Ridge pulled off its biggest win of the season on Monday night, beating Northwood 5-4 at Red Wolves Tennis Courts. The Chargers entered the match 5-0 in the CCC. Orange is jostling with the Chargers and Williams for a spot in the 3A Dual Team Playoffs, which will start next month.
Oh, and the Cedar Ridge men’s soccer team ended last week on a three-game winning streak, its longest in three years.
With that in mind, here are this week’s Magnificent Seven, which honor the best individual performances over the past week.
Darius Corbett: The Orange striker for the men’s soccer team had a hat trick against Southern Durham on Friday night. It was Corbett’s second hat trick of the season. On August 28, he had three goals against Henderson Collegiate at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary. Corbett leads Orange with seven goals this season.
Caitlin Carden: In wins over Eastern Alamance and Western Alamance, Carden collectively had 60 assists. In Orange’s 3-0 win over the Warriors, Carden had a double-double with 27 assists and ten digs as the Lady Panthers improved to 6-4, 3-3 in the CCC.
Erin Sollars: There’s no such thing as a short Orange-Western Alamance tennis match. Earlier this month, the Lady Panthers and the Warriors played a dual match that lasted well into the night. Last Thursday’s match in Hillsborough was no different, with Orange pulling out a 6-3 win. Two of the five singles matches went to 10-point, 3rd set tiebreakers. Sophomore Erin Sollars won her match at #3 singles 6-0, 6-1. Then in doubles, Sollars teamed with senior Jera Hargrove to win at #2 doubles 8-1 and wrap up the Orange win.
Chris Munoz: A strong week for Cedar Ridge men’s soccer continued with a 2-0 win over Eastern Alamance and a 8-1 victory over Person. Munox scored the game-winning goal against the Eagles. Against the Rockets, he scored two goals as the Red Wolves improved to 4-7, 3-1 in the CCC.
Adeline Cummings: Another strong Cedar Ridge women’s tennis freshmen. Cummings won her #6 singles match against Durham School of the Arts on Friday. Last Wednesday, Cedar Ridge defeated Person 6-3. Cummings started at #2 singles and captured her match 6-0, 6-2. Cummings is 4-3 in singles matches this year.
Cameron Lloyd: The Cedar Ridge junior outside hitter continues to make her case for Big 8 Volleyball Player of the Year. After the Red Wolves suffered its first loss of the season against Conley, the Red Wolves rebounded by making quick work of East Chapel Hill 3-0 on Tuesday in Hillsborough. Lloyd tied her season-high with 19 kills. She also had 18 digs. The Red Wolves impressively put away Person in Roxboro on Thursday to complete a season-sweep of the Rockets.
Olivia Aitkin: Olivia is a three-sport athlete at Cedar Ridge. She is best known for playing centerfield for the softball team, but she has also qualified for the Big 8 Conference swimming championships. She is also a golfer. Last week, Aitken finished in the top 10 during a Central Carolina Conference meet at the Valley Golf Course in Burlington. It was her second top-10 finish of the year. On top of that, Aitkin also committed to play softball at Amherst College in Amherts, MA.
Men’s Soccer: Cedar Ridge 2, Eastern Alamance 0
Days after scoring two goals against Orange in the Hillsborough Derby, Cedar Ridge’s Chris Mendez added to his team-lead in goals.
On Monday night, Mendez scored the game-winning goal as Cedar Ridge defeated Eastern Alamance 2-0 at Fred Brady Stadium in Mebane. Senior Jorge Salazar added insurance for the Red Wolves, who improved to 3-7 overall, 2-1 in the Central Carolina Conference. It was the second straight conference win for the Red Wolves.
Mendez now has seven goals on the season. Salazar is second on the team with seven points.
Goalkeeper Benjamin Weaver earned his second clean sheet of the season. It was his second straight win in net.
The Red Wolves were supposed to face Western Alamance on Wednesday night at Red Wolves Stadium, but the game was rained out. Cedar Ridge will host Person on Thursday night in Hillsborough.
Orange 4, Person 1
Orange co-Captain Jasper Tell scored the game-winning goal as the Panthers earned its first win in the Central Carolina Conference over Person on Monday night at Orange Soccer Park.
Junior Dylan Silverman assisted on the opening goal, then added Orange’s second goal later in the first half. In the second half, junior Cooper Zinn notched his third goal of the season. In the final ten minutes, junior Jack Pendergast added the first goal of his varsity career.
Orange’s trip to Northwood on Wednesday night was rained out. The Panthers will travel to Southern Durham on Friday.
Women’s tennis: Williams 5, Cedar Ridge 1:
Last Wednesday, the Red Wolves had just enough time to squeeze in six singles matches against Williams. Three of them went to 10-point tiebreakers in the third set, all of them claimed by Williams.
Red Wolves senior Chloe Patz won the Red Wolves only match at #2 singles over Haven Amick of Williams 7-6, 6-4. Cedar Ridge is 3-3 overall, 2-3 in the CCC. Their match scheduled for Wednesday against Person was rained out. The Red Wolves host Durham School of the Arts on Thursday.
Two months after finishing 2nd in the state in the 3,200 meters, Orange senior Spencer Hampton made a major impression by finishing 2nd in the Friday Night Lights Festival, one of the biggest cross country events of the regular season at Ivey Redmon Sports Complex at Mount Tabor on September 10.
Hampton finished 2nd out of 238 runners with a time of 16:07.30. The only runner in the entire field to finish ahead of Hampton was North Lincoln’s Stephen Fernetti, who came in six seconds ahead of Hampton.
The strong showing by Hampton helped Orange finish fifth among 30 teams. In addition to Hampton, Orange’s Gabriel Schmid finished 10th. Sophomore Alden Cathey came in 23rd. Senior Ethan Horton came in 83rd and junior James Wheelis came in 93rd.
Providence captured the men’s team competition.
In the women’s race, Orange freshman Carolina Cathey was the top finisher, coming in 123rd. Kassi Scarantino, Sophia Schultz, Maggie Saunders and Margaret Hales also competed for Orange.
The latest Central Carolina Conference women’s golf meet was held at the Valley in Burlington on Monday. Orange senior Sarah Durham, this week’s Orange Panther of the Week, finished fifth overall out of 23 competitors with a 51. It was her third top five finish in three matches this year.
Sarah’s younger sister, Samantha, finished only one stroke behind her sister with a 52. Shannon Dorsi, Kayla Pope and Lucia Godinez also competed for Orange.
Cedar Ridge’s Olivia Aitkin tied for 9th with a 59.
Northwood won the team meet with a 151, two strokes better than Eastern Alamance’s 153. Orange came in fourth out of five teams with 168 strokes.
Odds and Sods: Mayhew takes top singles match as Cedar Ridge women’s tennis wins; men’s soccer, golf scores
Women’s tennis: Cedar Ridge 6, Western Alamance 3: Cedar Ridge sophomore Cameron Mayhew won her third straight match in singles play as the Red Wolves defeated Western Alamance at Cedar Ridge tennis courts on Monday afternoon.
Mayhew, who has competed at #1 singles in all of the Red Wolves’ dual matches so far this season, opened with a 6-2, 6-1 victory.
Cedar Ridge senior Hannah Shinnick won two matches against the Warriors. She opened with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Madison Randleman at #3 singles. At day turned into night, Shinnick teamed with classmate Olivia Kelly at #2 doubles to defeat Madison Randleman & Sophie Touchette 8-5. That win sewed up the match for the Red Wolves, who improved to 3-3 overall, 2-2 in the Central Carolina Conference.
Kelly wonder #5 singles match over Sarah McLaughlin 6-3, 7-5. At #6 singles, Cedar Ridge freshman Adeline Cummings defeated Touchette 6-2, 6-0.
At #3 doubles, Red Wolves freshman Ella Caltabiano teamed with Cummings to win 8-3.
Cedar Ridge will travel to Burlington to face Williams on Wednesday afternoon.
Orange 8, Riverside 1: Orange swept all six singles matches to defeat Riverside at Orange Tennis Courts on Wednesday afternoon. Grace Pell captured her match in three sets. Riverside’s only victory came at #3 doubles. Orange improved to 8-2.
Northwood 6, Orange 3: The Chargers ended Orange’s four-match winning streak on Monday in Pittsboro. Erin Sollars won at #5 singles. Shannon Sollars won in a third-set tiebreak at #6 singles. Once again, Pell was extended to three sets but fell just short. 10-8. The Lady Panthers are 3-1 in the CCC.
Men’s soccer: Williams 6, Orange 1:
Wiliams, who captured the 2019 3A State Championship, defeated Orange 6-1 at Orange Soccer Park on Monday night. The Panthers’ only tally came from junior Cooper Zinn on an assist from Dylan Silverman. It was Zinn’s first goal of the year. Kenan King had four goals for the Bulldogs, who improved to 4-2-2 overall, 2-0 in the CCC.
Orange falls to 3-6, 0-2 in the CCC. The Panthers will play in the opening leg of the Hillsborough Derby on Wednesday night against Cedar Ridge at Red Wolves Stadium. Cedar Ridge has won the last three matches against Orange and four of the last five. Kickoff will be at 6:30 at Cedar Ridge.
Northwood 2, Cedar Ridge 1: The Red Wolves were tied with the Chargers at the half in their conference game at Chargers Stadium on Monday night. Northwood got the game-winning goal in the second half. The Red Wolves are 1-7 overall, 0-1 in the CCC
Women’s Golf: The second Central Carolina Conference meet of the year was held on Monday at the Preserves at Jordan Lake in Chapel Hill. In a field of 24 participants, Orange’s Sarah Durham finished tied for 2nd overall with a 47. Durham tied with Northwood’s Lily Jordan for second place.
Eastern Alamance’s Emily Mathews won the meet with a 35 through nine holes. Western Alamance won the team competition with 149 strokes, seven strokes ahead of Northwood, who finished at 155. Eastern Alamance finished third at 159. Orange was fourth with 168, while Person finished at 185.
Orange’s Samantha Durham, Sarah’s sister, finished tied for seventh with a 51.
Cedar Ridge’s Olivia Aitkin, who is the Red Wolves only golf participant, also finished in the top ten. Aitkin tied with Eastern Alamance’s Sarah Vannavong by shooting a 57.
Orange’s Lucia Godinez, Kayla Pope, Shannon Dorsi also participated in the meet.
Orange 7, Cedar Ridge 2: After going years without beating its crosstown rival, the Orange women’s tennis team has now won three straight dual matches against Cedar Ridge.
Last Tuesday, the Lady Panthers defeated Cedar Ridge 7-2 at Red Wolves Tennis Courts.
The Lady Panthers won four singles matches and swept the three doubles matches to improve to 6-1, 2-0 in the Central Carolina Conference (a match against Williams on September 1 was suspended and will resume on September 27).
There were two marathon matches. At #2 singles, Orange sophomore Grace Pell went to a third-set tiebreaker against Cedar Ridge senior Patz Chloe. Pell prevailed 4-6, 7-6 (7-5), with Pell taking the 10-point tiebreaker 10-5 to improve to 6-2 on the season.
Tea Jones, last week’s Orange Panther of the Week, had another three-set match against freshman Ella Caltabiano. In the opening set, Caltabiano won 6-3. Jones bounced back to win the second set 6-3, and the 10-point tiebreaker 11-9.
At #3 singles, junior Jinkie Andrews defeated Hannah Shinnick 6-3, 6-4. Andrews later teamed with Erin Sollars for a win at #3 doubles 8-4. Erin Sollars won her match in singles 6-0, 6-2.
Cedar Ridge sophomore Cameron Mayhew, who won the Cedar Ridge Red Wolf of the Week back in June, captured the #1 singles match over Finley White 6-3, 6-1. Freshman Adeline Cummings won Cedar Ridge’s other singles match over Orange freshman Shannon Sollars 7-5, 6-3.
Orange clinched the match at #1 doubles when White and Pell teamed to win 8-4.
Orange 8, Person 1: The Lady Panther improved to 7-1 with the win over the Rockets on Thursday in Hillsborough. Orange took five of the six singles matches to sew up the dual match.
Makayla Davis earned her third singles win of her varsity career at #3 singles, 6-1, 6-1.
White, Pell, Shannon Solars, and Isabelle Lynn also won for Orange.
In doubles: Jinkie Andrews teams with Tea Jones for a win at #1 doubles 8-1. Jones and Madelyn Horn won the most dramatic match of the day at #3 doubles by a score of 8-6. Erin & Shannon Sollars won 8-0 at #2 doubles.
Cedar Ridge 3, Eastern Alamance 1: Cedar Ridge’s streak of 24 consecutive victorious sets came to an end against Eastern Alamance in Mebane on Thursday night.
The Red Wolves unbeaten streak didn’t end.
After the Eagles became the first team to take a frame from the Red Wolves 27-25 in the opening set, Cedar Ridge rolled 25-10, 25-12 and 25-12 to remain undefeated at 9-0. Cedar Ridge also maintained first place in the Central Carolina Conference at 4-0.
Cedar Ridge will host Western Alamance on Tuesday at Red Wolves Gymnasium, then travel to Western Alamance on Thursday.
Orange 3, Riverside 0: Just one week after losing to Riverside 3-0 at Linny Wrenn Stadium, Orange rebounded to defeat the Pirates 3-0 at Orange Soccer Park on Thursday night. Panther co-Captain Jasper Tell notched a goal for Orange, and also assisted on another goal by junior Bryan Membreno. Sophomore Enzo Bruhns, in his varsity debut after starting the season on the junior varsity squad, scored a goal that was assisted by freshman Konner Johnson.
Junior goalkeeper Connor McMurty posted the clean sheet for Orange, who improved to 3-5.
Occoneechee Golf Course in Hillsborough hosted its first Central Carolina Conference meet of the season last week. Western Alamance finished first in the team standings at 140 strokes. Eastern Alamance’s Emily Mathews had the top individual score with a 35 through nine holes.
Orange had four players for its squad. Sarah Durham, who was an Orange Panther of the Week in 2020, had the top score for the Panthers with a 47. Durham had the sixth-highest score in the meet.
Cedar Ridge’s only representative was Olivia Aitkin, who shot a 52. Aitkin is a rare three-sport athlete. She is also a swimmer during the winter and is a starting centerfielder for the Cedar Ridge softball team.
Cedar Ridge’s Mayhew named All-Big 8 in men’s tennis; Orange’s Frank, Cedar Ridge’s Monschein honored in golf
After becoming just the second tennis player in the history of Hillsborough high school athletics to reach a state championship match, Cedar Ridge sophomore Josh Mayhew has been named All-Big 8 Conference.
In addition, Cedar Ridge’s Eli Rachlin and Will Ballenger also were named to the All-Big 8 Conference team. Orange’s Justin Conover and Brandon Gwinn were also named first-team All-Big 8.
On May 15, Mayhew defeated Soham Pradhan of Marvin Ridge 6-2, 6-4 to reach the 3A State Tennis final at the Burlington Tennis Center. He became the first Cedar Ridge singles player to become a state finalist. The only other player from the Orange County School District to ever reach a state final was Britton Webb of Orange, who played for the 2A championship in 2005.
This was Mayhew’s first full varsity season. He went 14-4 in singles play. All four of his losses were to 3A State Champion Dennis Perumov of Chapel Hill, who naturally was also the Big 8 Conference Player of the Year. Mayhew finished second in the Mideast Regional, where he defeated Chapel Hill’s Eddy Ferreira 6-2, 6-2 in the semifinals. Mayhew qualified for the state championships on May 8 with wins over Western Alamance’s Will Geiger and East Chapel Hill’s Rama Varanasi in the opening rounds of the Mideast Regionals. He became the first singles player from Cedar Ridge to qualify for the state tournament since 2014.
Rachlin was the junior co-Captain of the team. He started all matches at #2 singles. Rachlin helped the Red Wolves sweep the season series from crosstown rival Orange. On March 22, Rachlin defeated Orange’s Colin O’Hagerty 6-2, 7-5. Throughout the season, Rachlin teamed with Lev Bearman on #2 doubles. Together, they defeated Northwood’s #2 doubles team 8-7, winning the tiebreaker 7-5 on March 15. It preserved a 5-4 Cedar Ridge victory.
Ballenger had 14 wins this season. He teamed with Mayhew to go 8-2 as the Red Wolves’ top doubles team. Ballenger also played #3 singles for much of the year, including a three-set victory over Carrboro’s Joseph Lee that ended 2-6, 7-5, 7-6 (12-10). It helped the Red Wolves defeat the Jaguars 9-0 at Carrboro Tennis Courts.
Orange’s Brandon Gwinn teamed with O’Hagerty to reach the 3A State Doubles Tournament. It was the first time since 2013 that Orange High was represented in a state tennis tournament. On May 8, Gwinn and O’Hagerty defeated Northern Guilford’s Duncan Moore and James Harrington 6-3, 6-4 to reach the 3A Mideast Regional semifinals. Earlier in the day, Gwinn and O’Hagerty knocked off Isai Gutierrez & Francisco Urieta of Harnett Central.
Gwinn, a sophomore, had 12 wins overall in 2021. Despite facing players from perennial powerhouses Chapel Hill and East Chapel Hill, Gwinn finished 7-4 in singles play. Gwinn defeated Ballenger 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) on April 14 at Red Wolves Tennis Courts.
In his third year as a varsity player, Conover was usually Orange’s #1 singles player. He helped the Panthers to a winning season on the strength of two wins over Northwood. Conover defeated the Chargers’ Jio Sumogod 6-4, 6-4 on March 24. A month later, Conover defeated Sumogod 7-5, 6-4 as Orange defeated Northwood 5-4 in Hillsborough.
Bearman was named Honorable Mention All-Big 8 for Cedar Ridge. O’Hagerty was named honorable mention for Orange.
In addition to tennis, the Big 8 Conference has named its All-Conference teams for men’s golf. Orange’s Josh Frank and Cedar Ridge’s Bradley Monschein made All-Big 8.
Frank, a senior, had a nine-hold average for the year below 42. He qualified for the 3A Mideast Regionals at Keith Hills Golf Club on the campus of Campbell University. On April 13, Frank shot a 79 at Occoneechee Golf Course in Hillsborough, the home of Orange and Cedar Ridge golf.
Monschein was the Red Wolves’ top player throughout the season. In mid-March at Occoneechee Golf Course, Monschein led Cedar Ridge with an 87 over 18 holes, which was tied for fourth among competitors from five different schools. Somewhat remarkably, Monschein didn’t start getting serious about golf until about a year ago. This was his first season on the Cedar Ridge golf team. He’s currently playing for Cedar Ridge’s junior varsity baseball team.