NC Lady Warriors Defeat North Paulding Wolfpack


Escorted by her parents and three siblings, Senior setter Kayla Johnson laughs with her family during an event she has eagerly awaited since joining the varsity team her freshman year. Over the course of her NC volleyball career, she won two AAU club tournaments and received the title of GACA Junior All Star when she recorded 101 aces throughout the duration of her junior season. After graduation, Johnson plans to pursue cosmetology while majoring in business.

Amber Roldan, Features Editor

The 2020-2021 NC Lady Warrior varsity volleyball team (9-5), defeated the North Paulding Wolverines (3-7) Tuesday night at home in the NC Arena. Before springing into action, the Warriors celebrated Senior Night, recognizing NC’s 2021 graduates. Fans filled the stands wearing pink shirts and masks in accordance with the game’s “Pink Out” theme to support their favorite senior athletes. Copious cheers and laughter created high spirited energy as athletes’ friends and family members waved neon posters and fatheads. The overwhelming love allowed the girls to acknowledge how much their friends and family members support their athletic careers. This ultimately improved their performance and awarded the girls with the confidence they needed to defeat their rivals in three straight sets.

Head Coach, Stephen Sansing, began Tuesday night’s festivities by recognizing each senior athlete on North Paulding’s team and gifting each with a single white rose as a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication to their respective program. Following the recognition of North Paulding’s seniors, the attention shifted to NC’s 12th-grade athletes as each senior walked out through a tunnel of their teammates escorted by their family members. Traditionally, each girl selects their favorite teacher to walk with them on Senior Night. However, due to COVID-19 safety precautions, Sansing decided to skip this tradition to prioritize the health of his players and coworkers.

Although the COVID-19 outbreak dictates innumerable aspects of life, no pandemic dampens the passion that NC’s Lady Warrior volleyball team exemplifies every time they step foot on a court. If anything, months of self-isolation brought the girls closer together. 

“I am so thankful that we were able to make Senior Night happen despite being in the middle of a pandemic. It’s a game that we look forward to our entire athletic career,” Magnet senior Katrin Ivanova said.

Everyone in attendance sat on the edge of their seats during the nail-biting match. Although NC won in three straight sets, North Paulding’s Wolverines barely let a single point slip by them. Only two points ahead at the end of the first set (25-23) NC’s Lady Warriors amped up the intensity, allowing significantly fewer points in the following two sets. Their dedication and talent, combined with a clear vision, allowed them to exceed their goal, winning the second set (25-15). While confident with their ability to bring home a win, the Lady Warriors outplayed their opponents, only allowing an additional 4 points during the third set (25-19).

Senior Samantha Sanchez received the title, player of the match,  after completing 3 assists, 5 digs, and 4 aces. Sanchez transferred to NC at the beginning of the semester after moving across the country with her family. Sanchez’s talent as libero improved the team’s overall performance.

Tuesday night’s crowd shared laughter, smiles, and tears as spectators witnessed the bittersweet evening the girls eagerly awaited their entire high school athletic careers. NC’s triumph over North Paulding added to the excitement of the eventful evening while strengthening bonds and creating memories that NC’s Lady Warrior volleyball team will cherish forever.