Volleyball tournament sets homecoming week up for success


Courtesy of Natalia Alarcon

Senior varsity volleyball player Khemille Brown served as team Stacked’s student coach. Her volleyball expertise and positive outlook on the game boosted the team’s spirit as she offered courtside advice.

Amber Roldan, Editor in Chief

Celebrated each October, NC’s homecoming traditions allow students and staff alike to unite and celebrate school-wide community and continuity. This year’s homecoming festivities remain highly anticipated after the lack of homecoming last year due to the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic.

Introduced during the 2019-2020 school year, NC began the tradition of hosting a co-ed volleyball tournament during homecoming week. The beloved tradition re-emerged on Tuesday, October 5 as students enthusiastically gathered in the old gym to compete in and watch NC’s second annual volleyball homecoming tournament.

The close-knit tournament invites students to create teams of 6 and compete against classmates in a series of friendly volleyball matches. This year’s tournament featured 10 enthusiastic teams all competing for the honor of first place. The tournament kicked off at 7:30 p.m. with randomly generated pool play consisting of four nine-minute matches. Team records at the end determined how each team would advance to bracket play. The top four teams advanced to the Gold bracket leaving behind the remaining four teams to compete in the silver bracket.

Parents and students filled the arena to support the ten competing teams. Energetic cheers and enthusiastic support felt palpable to all players on the court. A handful of dedicated parents packed posters decorated with encouraging sayings and photos to cheer on their child athletes. The high energy on and off the volleyball court allowed Tuesday’s tournament to become a memorable experience for all involved.

The 2019 returning champions eagerly awaited this year’s tournament. The all-male team called themselves “Stacked” and re-entered Tuesday’s tournament determined to preserve their reputable winning status. After winning the inaugural tournament in 2019 as mere sophomores, the team refined their skills as they prepared to enter the tournament as seniors. The team walked into the tournament with confidence and matching jerseys. Stacked’s jersey inspiration stemmed from Will Ferell’s iconic movie: “Semi-Pro”. The beloved film highlights the success of the basketball team Flint Tropics. Dressing up as the iconic Flint Tropic team gifted team Stacked with the confidence they needed to conquer their competition. 

Team Stacked mastered the art of teamwork and seamlessly advanced to the gold bracket after winning all four matches during pool play. Stacked found success in their first gold bracket match and quickly defeated team Sloppy Joes. Stacked’s victory over the Sloppy Joes secured the team’s spot in the championship match.

 All male senior team, “Sets in the City ” joined team Stacked in the championship match. The 15-minute, nail-biting match left spectators on the edge of their seats. Ultimately, Stacked defeated Sets in the City in a hard-fought 17-16 win. The friendship and dedication of Stacked’s athletes paid off and allowed the boys to uphold their 2-year undefeated status as champions. 

“It was exhilarating to win the tournament for the second time. A lot of us had been thinking about a repeat since we won the first time. It was super difficult but I am glad we got the job done,” senior Stacked member Bentley Huff said.

The success of NC’s second annual Homecoming Volleyball tournament would cease to exist without the dedication and support from NC’s student government: Tribal Connections (TC). TC members partnered with the Lady Warrior’s Varsity Volleyball team to successfully execute the event. Varsity players served as coaches for each team while TC officers and volunteers collected scores while simultaneously ensuring that the tournament ran smoothly.

Succeeding their victory, TC Senior President Abigail Nwachuku and TC Senior Vice president Kiana Hawley awarded Stacked with miniature trophies and $10 Chick-fil-a gift cards. Although another school-wide volleyball tournament won’t commence until next homecoming week, this year’s homecoming festivities will continue until Saturday evening. The NC community can support Warrior football players Thursday and Friday nights as they take on the Harrison Hoyas in JV and Varsity football matches respectively. Following Friday’s football game, NC will host their annual homecoming formal at 7 pm in the courtyard. The dance’s debut location juxtaposed with the Enchanted Forest theme excites students as homecoming week continues.

“I was dying to get on the court all night; I never wanted to stop playing. The competitive environment made it such a fun night. I am so thankful for the experience,” senior Lorenzo Alarcon said