Sports Briefs: O'Neal Gets Wins in Cross Country, Volleyball
The O’Neal cross country teams opened their season Thursday by sweeping a tri-meet held on the course at Sandhills Community College.
The girls had 24 points in winning their competition, while the Falcon boys grabbed first with a total of 32 points.
Savannah Merritt, a junior competing in her first school race in several years, crossed the finish line in first place for the Falcons in a time of 22:50.
She was followed by senior captain Alana Godbey (second, 25:58), sophomore Aleksandra Majka (sixth, 28:10), eighth-grader Hunter Atkinson (seventh, 28:10), and sophomore Allison Johnson (eighth, 28:20) to complete O’Neal’s score.
Other Falcon competitors were Elizabeth Trexler (ninth, 28:49), Bronti Viskovich (10th, 29:06), Courtney Morrison (21st, 32:28), Lara Allen (24th, 35:15), and Megan Bloom (43rd, 37:30). The O’Neal girls were followed by Faith Christian in second with 56 points and Coastal Christian in third with 94.
Senior Austin Puleo, a veteran runner and O’Neal’s captain, led the boys, finishing third in a time of 20:40.
The other four runners scoring points for the Falcons were eighth-grader Josh Russell (sixth, 22:33), senior Alexander Waddell (eighth, 23:09), freshman Josh Hager (10th, 23:19), and eighth-grader Matt Hutchens (12th, 23:33), proving the Falcons with one of their lowest boys’ score in awhile, according to Falcon coach Josh Roberts.
Other Falcon competitors were eighth-grader Tomi Lawal (15th, 24:52), sophomore Kyle Flechsig (16th, 25:01), Dakota Merritt (19th, 26:50), John Anderson (26th, 28:55), Hans Johnson (30th, 30:57), Patrick Walters (31st, 31:10) and T.C. Mann (33rd, 31:24).
The Falcons race again on Wednesday at Cape Fear Academy in Wilmington.
O’Neal Volleyball Wins
The O’Neal volleyball team picked up its first conference victory with a thrilling five-game road win over Cape Fear Academy. The scores of the five games were 20-25, 29-27, 16-25, 25-21 and 15-10.
“It was a nail-biter,” said Falcon coach Kendall Harper. “The girls played hard each game during a two and a-half hour match.”
Leading the way for the Falcons (5-4 overall, 1-1) were Katelyn Hunt with six kills, five service aces and five digs. Jackie Chamberlain had three service aces, nine digs and two blocks. Taylor Shelton chipped in with five kills, two digs and six blocks. Claire Russell had five service aces, two kills and four digs.
With O’Neal starting setter Scottie McGowan out with seven stitches above her eye, back-up setter Teresa Griffin came in and played a great game with 18 assists and five digs, said Harper.
The Falcon junior varsity team (5-4, 1-1) defeated Cape Fear Academy in three games by scores of 25-20, 12-25 and 26-24.
“The third game was a thrilling point-by-point game,” Harper said.
Both teams return to action Tuesday at Grace Christian.
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