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 Uwharrie Charter’s Lizah Moore goes well above the net for a kill. Her athleticism is a big plus as the Eagles hope to make a deep push in the state playoffs.   

Moore among reasons UCA optimistic about 1-A tournament chances

ASHEBORO — When Lizah Moore was young, she said she never thought about playing volleyball. It was a sport, she said, she didn’t think she would enjoy. But when her mother suggested she give it a try, she did, and there are plenty of people at Uwharrie Christian Academy who are glad she did.


Moore quickly fell in love with the sport and, now a junior, is using her natural athleticism to help spark the Eagles to what they hope will be a deep run in the state 1-A tournament.


On Saturday, fifth-seeded UCA opened tournament action by blitzing No. 28 Bethany Community in three lopsided games (25-7, 25-25-9, 25-8) and was scheduled to meet 12th-seeded Mountain Island Charter Tuesday night. UCA took a 19-6 overall record into that match.


Moore has been a big reason the Eagles finished second in the Piedmont Athletic Conference, a conference most believe is the toughest split conference in the state.


“Athletically, she brings something that is tough to defend and tough to swing around,” UCA coach Lee Kennell said. “She is a big leaper and she reads the sets really well. Athletically, she is a freak of nature.”


Though the Eagles have plenty of options at the net, including Moore, senior Chloe Painter, junior Kayden Faglier, freshman Caroline Way, senior Kenzie Hill and junior Anna Brewer, it is Moore who consistently puts up highlight-reel kills every match.


“She’s a big part of the offense,” Kennell said after the first-round win over Bethany Community. “I asked her before the game today, ‘Are you ready to dominate?’ and she said ‘yes’ and she did it.”


And it all started because her mom made the suggestion.


“I was never interested in it, but I wanted to play a sport and my mom suggested I play volleyball,” Moore said of taking up the game the summer before her sixth-grade year. “I gave it a shot and it's just a sport I love so much. Playing with such good talent over the years. I just love the sport and playing with all the girls I have played with.


“There are just so many things I can do on the court and it stuck with me more than any other sport.”


A dancer for three years, Moore, who doesn’t play other sports, elected to concentrate on volleyball. It was a great decision.


“She was really raw, green,” Kennell said of when Moore first began her volleyball career. “She started playing club ball and has really put an emphasis on volleyball. She has made strides in leaps and bounds. Her maturity, leadership, talent and skill all improved once she made a commitment to volleyball.”


Moore started as a freshman on the jayvee team, but dressed for some games at the varsity level.


“Playing time really didn’t matter to me,” Moore said of her stint with the varsity team. “On jayvee, I played a lot and I loved the girls.”


Moore quickly learned about how to become a leader. She and the four seniors on the team have led the Eagles to their seventh straight winning season. In Moore’s three years, UCA is 55-20 overall. This year, she has recorded 249 kills.


“I like to be a leader,” said Moore, who also plays club ball for the Fusion out of Burlington. “It’s almost my last year and I want to lead the girls in a certain way, and for the younger girls, I try to be an inspiration for them.”


She certainly has done just that.