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Addie Flinchum smashes the ball at the net.    Eric Abernathy/Randolph Hub

Expectations begin to climb for ER volleyball

RAMSEUR — The last seven seasons haven’t led to much success for the Eastern Randolph High School varsity volleyball team as the Wildcats have accumulated a record of 40-89 during that span. The effort had always been there, the results not so much.


But this is a new year and this year’s team has higher expectations. So far, they have shown they are capable of reaching those lofty goals.


The Wildcats took a big step in the program last week with a four-set win over Wheatmore, the first time in school history ER has defeated the Warriors. WHS came into the contest with a perfect 24-0 record against ER but left with their first setback.


“It was very big,” ER senior hitter Addie Flinchum said of the win over the Warriors. “We are trying to push ourselves this season because we have the potential to go pretty far.”


The win over the Warriors last Tuesday and a loss to top-seeded Southwestern Randolph Thursday left the Wildcats 5-3 overall and 1-2 in the Piedmont Athletic Conference. ER won just one league game and five matches all last season.


“As a whole, we have come together as a team,” ER coach Lauren Overman said. “We have a lot of athletic players, a lot of big hitters, but we also have girls who understand what their roles are. They understand that if they are in the back, they are there so the ball doesn’t hit the ground. 


“We have a lot of leaders in Addie Flinchum, Kenly Whitaker, Logan Beaver and Ziera Watson. They all bring something to the court and have them all together playing like one solid unit.”


Flinchum, Beaver, Cora Sparrow and Marianna Corea give the Wildcats experience and youth at the net. Whitaker has been a solid setter and Katelyn Brown, Callie Craven, Sarah Ledbetter and senior libero Kaylie Courtemanche have all been stellar.


Flinchum leads the team in kills.


“She’s a lot of fun to watch,” Overman said. “She brings a lot of heat to the ball. She is a lot of fun to coach. I get on her because I want to see her do well. We have so much potential. I love all these girls and want them to succeed.”


The PAC is one of the toughest volleyball conferences in the state. SWR, Randleman and Uwharrie Charter are all as talented as any team in this area and Trinity has taken a big step up as well this year. The WIldcats had a big week scheduled as they battled Asheboro Monday and Uwharrie Charter Tuesday before finishing with Providence Grove Thursday.


“I think I’m going to remember having fun practices and having these big wins together,” Flinchum said of her volleyball career at ER. “I will remember all the memories we made.”


They are making many more this season.