Wakefield senior Katie Slay (16) was named to the fourth annual Under Armour Girls High School All-America team. With her selection, Slay will attend the Under Armour All-America Volleyball Match & Skills Competition held in Tampa, Fla., Dec. 18-20.
Slay named to
If the Penn State University women's volleyball team makes a run at its third consecutive national championship this December in Tampa, Fla. — a good chance considering the Lions have won 90-plus contests in a row — Wakefield senior and future Lady Lion Katie Slay will be there.
But the title game won't be the emphasis of the Lady Wolverine's trip down south.
In a press release last week, the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) announced the rosters for the fourth annual Under Armour Girls High School All-America Teams, and Slay earned first-team All-America honors.
All 24 first-team representatives are invited to compete in the Under Armour All-America Volleyball Match & Skills Competition held in Tampa, Fla., Dec. 18-20.
And what's one of the perks of being a first-team All-American? Tickets to the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship Match held the same weekend as the high school All-Star event in Florida.
Joined by her parents Maureen and Alan Slay, Wakefield's Katie Slay (center) signed her letter of intent Thursday, committing to the Penn State volleyball team. Slay joins one of the most prominent programs in the country as the Lady Lions have won the last two NCAA championships.
Wakefield's Slay signs with Penn State volleyball
During the past year Alan Slay, father of Wakefield volleyball star Katie Slay, decided to upgrade his family's cable package and get the Big Ten Network.
Why the sudden interest for a conference located in the heart of the Midwest?
Because they'll soon recognize someone on the channel.
On Thursday afternoon, Katie Slay officially became a member of the Penn State University volleyball team, signing her letter of intention to join the Lady Lions next fall.
It is quite an honor considering Slay will now join arguably the most dominate program in collegiate schools, winners of 90 consecutive matches and the last two national titles.
The Enloe volleyball team (left) celebrates its victory over Wakefield in a thrilling five-set match Saturday. On the other side of the court, Wakefield's Elizabeth Campbell couldn't watch the Eagles' celebration. Enloe advanced to the state semifinals with the victory.
run ends to Enloe
Wakefield volleyball team
finishes season 25-1
Staring down a 17-10 deficit in the third set of Saturday's fourth-round state playoff game against Enloe — already trailing two sets to none — the Wakefield volleyball team could have quit.
The Lady Wolverines, a perfect 25-0 entering the contest, just didn't know how.
With the odds stacked against it, Wakefield put together a 15-4 run, winning the set 25-22.
Then the Lady Wolverines thwarted Enloe in the fourth set, turning a tight 11-9 contest into a comfortable 25-12 victory.
The surge erased the memory of Wakefield's two lackluster sets to begin the match, and brought a dazed crowd back to life. (Before the start of the fifth and final set, the pro-Wakefield and pro-Enloe fans got into a fun give-and-take with cheers.)
Alas, the fairy tale ending didn't come to fruition.
Having posted a 25-0 record heading into their postseason meeting with Enloe Saturday, members of the Wakefield volleyball have plenty to smile about.
WHS volleyball hosts Enloe Saturday
Lady Wolverines knocked off WF-R in four sets Thursday
Forgive members of the Wakefield volleyball team if they haven't realized the postseason has started.
Why the possible confusion? Well, the Lady Wolverines' schedule has had a distinct conference flavor this week.
For the second time in three days, Wakefield (25-0) will square off with a fellow member of the Cap-7 Conference, hosting Enloe (22-3) Saturday at 4 p.m.
The fourth-round state playoff game with the Eagles comes just two days after Wakefield knocked off crosstown rival Wake Forest-Rolesville in four sets (25-16, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17), staging Saturday's match.
Katie Slay (16) and the Wakefield volleyball team hosts Wake Forest-Rolesville today (Thursday) in the third round of the NCHSAA state playoffs. The match kicks off at 6 p.m.
Wakefield, WF-R volleyball teams
scrap for fourth time
Winner advances to play Enloe/Broughton winner
For the Wakefield volleyball team's third-round state playoff match-up slated for tonight (Thursday), the Lady Wolverines won't need a scouting report.
They have more than enough of first-hand experience.
Wakefield hosts crosstown rival Wake Forest-Rolesville at 6 p.m., marking the fourth time these foes will battle this season.
In a bold statement of the Cap-7 Conference's strength, the Cougars, the league's No. 4 seed, knocked off two higher seeds — Durham Riverside and Green Hope — to set up the rematch.
The Lady Wolverines have been equally impressive in their first two postseason wins, knocking off Middle Creek and Durham Jordan without dropping a single set.
Sophomore Bryn Pfeiffer (4) makes a play in the first set of the Lady Wolverines' 3-0 win over Middle Creek Saturday. Wakefield advances to face Durham Jordan Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Wakefield volleyball muscles past Mustangs in first-round match-up
Lady Wolverines host Durham Jordan Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Motioning with her hands — her fingers making a little mouth — Wakefield volleyball coach Cynthia Terrell implored her Lady Wolverines to communicate following a missed dig during the third set of Saturday afternoon's first-round state playoff matinee with Middle Creek.
Although Wakefield jumped out to a two-set lead, the Mustangs wouldn't succumb easily in the final third set. And the Lady Wolverines weren't helping themselves by staying silent.
"Our communication wasn't great," Terrell said later. "I don't know if it was the time of day. I don't know if it was because it's the state playoffs, I really don't know. But we weren't talking."
Following their 3-0 win over Enloe Wednesday, members of the Wakefield volleyball team celebrate winning the Cap-7 Conference tournament championship.
Lady Wolverines wrap up tournament championship
Wakefield kicks off postseason Saturday, hosting Middle Creek
After the Wakefield volleyball team dispatched of Enloe in three sets Wednesday, winning the Cap-7 Conference tournament championship, and concluding an unblemished league schedule, former Lady Wolverine Sydney Blanchfield — who graduated last spring — was one of several well-wishers congratulating coach Cynthia Terrell afterward.
"I'm so happy for you guys," Blanchfield told her former coach. "And I'm jealous."
It's an understandable emotion considering the level of excellence the Lady Wolverines have displayed this year. It's been a special season for Wakefield, and Wednesday's 25-11, 25-20, 25-16 win over a very competitive Enloe squad once again showed the squad's dominance.
Following their 3-0 win over Enloe Tuesday, members of the Wakefield volleyball team celebrate the Lady Wolverines' second conference title in school history.
Wakefield volleyball finishes
regular season undefeated
When asked if the Wakefield volleyball team's undefeated season — including its 3-0 win over Enloe Tuesday, clinching the Cap-7 Conference title outright — was worth the stress, Katie Slay shared a different point of view: the Lady Wolverines earned the right to be stressed.
"A friend of mine told me that "Pressure is a privilege,'" the senior said. "So having this pressure on our back, we earned it and worked hard for it."
Despite having perfection hang over them — the squad was 19-0 entering its match with the Eagles — it wasn't the only reason Tuesday's regular-season finale was significant.
With a win Tuesday over Enloe, Cally (14) and Bryn Pfeiffer and the Wakefield volleyball team will secure the program's second conference title in school history.
Wolverines eyeing perfection
For the Wakefield volleyball team, unbeaten through 19 contests this season, you'd think the Lady Wolverines' final regular-season contest Tuesday night would be stress-free.
But the so-far, so-perfect squad faces Enloe (18-1), with plenty on the line, including a share of the Cap-7 Conference title and the No. 1 seed in the league's end-of-the-season tournament.
Add in the extra emotion of senior night as well as Monday's big victory over rival Wake Forest-Rolesville, and the Lady Wolverines have a pretty full plate.
Because Wakefield defeated Enloe 3-0 in Sept. 22 meeting — the Lady Eagles' lone 2009 loss — the Lady Wolverines only need to win to take the conference title outright.
With Thursday's 3-0 victory over Sanderson, sophomore Kylie Sicking and the Wakefield volleyball team recored its fourth straight-set win. The Lady Wolverines are 16-0 this season.
Wakefield volleyball notches 16th-straight victory Thursday
Few people would blame the Wakefield volleyball team if complacency set in.
The Lady Wolverines have been on a tear since the beginning of the season, winning their first 16 games, including Thursday's 3-0 win (25-18, 25-21, 25-9) over Sanderson.
And the matches haven't been that close as Wakefield has recorded straight-set wins in seven of its last eight games.
But the unbeaten squad hasn't lost its concentration — and with a Cap-7 Conference title in sight — the Lady Wolverines aren't willing to give up a single set — let alone an actual contest.
Check out this video for a few highlights from the
Wakefield volleyball team's win over Broughton Thursday.
Wakefield volleyball improves
to 14-0 with its win Thursday
The wins keep mounting for the Wakefield volleyball team, which cruised to a straight-set victory over Broughton Thursday night.
After winning decisively in the first set, 25-16, the Lady Wolverines rallied from a 18-15 second-set deficit, scoring a 26-24 victory late. Wakefield then sealed the match in the third, pulling away 25-21.
For head coach Cynthia Terrell, the Lady Wolverines' triumph can be traced back to what her squad has done all season — give 100 percent effort, never give up and play as a team.
Wakefield sophomore Bryn Pfeiffer (center) and the Lady Wolverines' volleyball team have plenty to celebrate, improving to 9-0 this season following their win over Millbrook Sept. 10.
between Wakefield's past and present
Lady Wolverines top Millbrook in volleyball Thursday
Following Thursday's straight-set victory over Millbrook, Wakefield volleyball coach Cynthia Terrell made a bold comparison without saying a word.
While discussing the Lady Wolverines' 9-0 start — 3-0 in Cap-7 Conference play — the coach explained this year's squad reminded her of Wakefield's 2005 club.
Asked how so, Terrell simply pointed to the conference championship banner hanging on the south wall of Wakefield's gymnasium.
Penn State volleyball legend takes in Wakefield match
While Penn State volleyball coach Russ Rose — in the midst of his 30th year — might get overshadowed by another long-time Lions coach in terms of recognition, few people can match his success on court.
Having led the Lady Lions to three national championships, including consecutive titles the past two seasons, Rose is one of the most prominent figures in women's volleyball.
And with his Lady Lions in the Triangle this week, competing in the 12th annual Duke Volleyball Invitational in Durham, the coach dropped in to watch Penn State recruit Katie Slay and the Wakefield volleyball team host Millbrook Thursday evening.
Having come back from an off-season ankle injury, Wakefield sophomore Elizabeth Campbell (17) has helped the Lady Wolverines to a 3-0 record this fall. Here Campbell laughs with teammates between sets during Tuesday night's win over Athens Drive.
Wakefield dead ends Athens Drive
Following Tuesday night's straight-set victory (25-17, 25-18, 25-13) over visiting Athens Drive, Wakefield volleyball coach Cynthia Terrell's first comment after the contest should scare its Cap-7 Conference foes.
"We're still not 100 percent, but wait until we get there, and then you better look out," the coach explained.
While the Lady Wolverines aren't yet at full strength, they've managed to compile a 3-0 record this season heading into Thursday night's match with Knightdale.
After becoming a big contributor as a freshman last year, Wakefield setter Kylie Sicking will again lead the Lady Wolverines' offense this fall.
Wakefield volleyball 'on the mend'
Before describing this year's Wakefield volleyball team, coach Cynthia Terrell made a headline suggestion to sum up the Lady Wolverines' fortunes — or rather misfortunes.
"How about something like, 'Wakefield, we're on the mend," she asked.
Those five words hit the proverbial nail on the head as the Lady Wolverines will be short-handed — thanks to injuries — to start the season.