Garner, N.C. — The reigning 4A state champion Green Hope Falcons settled a score with the North Raleigh Christian Academy Knights in the fourth game of the HighSchoolOT Garner Showcase.
On their way to that championship last year, the Knights were the only team to beat the Falcons.
North Raleigh Christian got that win on the way to a state title of their own, their third consecutive at the 3A level of the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association.
As two of the elite programs in the state clashed on Saturday, Green Hope was able to flip the script. After winning the first set 25-21, the Falcons were in control of the match.
But the young, talented North Raleigh Christian team was not going to make this easy for the defending state champions.
The Knights took the second set 25-23, erasing a 19-17 deficit to even the match.
North Raleigh Christian built upon that momentum in the third set, storming out to a 14-6 lead before a Green Hope timeout.
The Falcons used the breather to re-focus, cutting the deficit to 15-14 before the Knights took a timeout of their own.
The Knights won 10-6 the rest of the way to claim a 25-20 win in the third set and push the Falcons to the brink.
Green Hope responded well in the fourth set. After North Raleigh Christian took an early 3-0 lead, it was all Falcons the rest of the way as they took the set 25-17 to force a decisive fifth set.
The fifth set would go beyond the typical 15 points to win, as each team once pulled the game even while facing a match point.
Green Hope was finally able to win with a match point that lasted over 30 seconds.