But someone forgot to tell this to Fairmont and St. Pauls.
The Golden Tornadoes held off a St. Pauls rally for a 3-2 victory in the regular season finale for both teams.
"Just another St. Pauls-Fairmont volleyball match," Fairmont coach Michael Baker said. "That's what you expect from a St. Pauls-Fairmont match. I don't think we've lost a Senior Night in like nine or 10 years and this team wanted to keep that streak going."
The Golden Tornadoes (14-5, 8-2) knew heading into the match they weren't going to be able to win the Three Rivers Conference title because St. Pauls clinched that Thursday. The Bulldogs' forfeit victory over West Columbus, coupled with Fairmont's straight set loss to East Columbus made the clash for nothing but bragging rights. And a chance to stop the Bulldogs from finishing the conference slate undefeated.
"If you're a competitor, you don't want to show up and not play," Baker said. "We knew we couldn't move up, but it was Senior Night and we didn't want to lose. Plus we wanted to show them we were close to them, we wanted to prove that to them."
Fairmont jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the match after a 25-20 and 25-11 victories in the first two games. The Golden Tornadoes were just two points away from gaining a sweep after Victoria Hunt's kill in game three. However, the Bulldogs took the next four points to extend the contest.
"They wanted to finish undefeated," St. Pauls Jennifer White said. "I don't know because they had already won the conference was in the back of their mind. We set a goal to win conference and we accomplished that. Now our second goal is to win state."
In the fourth game, the Bulldogs (13-3, 9-1) once again had their backs against the wall, but were able to rally. Fairmont took a 19-18 lead after a hitting error by St. Pauls' Joanna Noah. But the Golden Tornadoes were unable to close out the match and fell 25-21.
"My girls played well and we had all the momentum after going up 2-0," Baker said. "(St. Pauls) They're champions. They came back and took all of the momentum from us."
The decisive fifth game see-sawed back and forth until Hunt's seven kill of the match gave the Golden Tornadoes an 18-16 win and ignited a victory celebration for the home crowd.
"I wish we could have come out and played the first two games like we did the last three," White said. "Fairmont played with everything they had tonight."
Jones wins SEC girls XC title
SOUTHERN PINES — Lumberton's Jamicia Jones captured the Southeastern Conference girls cross county championship by 15 seconds over Pinecrest's Jennie Cunningham.
Jones finished the course in a time of 21:13, while teammate Callie Davis was 12th with a time of 25:03. Purnell Swett's Amber Patrick came in 14th with a time of 26:15.
As a team Lumberton was third with 85 points. Pinecrest won the meet with 20 points and Scotland was second at 70.
Purnell Swett takes second in SEC meet
SOUTHERN PINES — Harley Locklear and Tyler Baker finished ninth and 10th, respectively, to pace the Purnell Swett boys cross country team to a second place finish at the Southeastern Conference boys cross country championship.
The Rams finished with 66 points, while Pinecrest was first with a perfect score of 15. Lumberton was fourth at 113 points.
The Pirates' top finisher was Joseph Murray, who came in 14th.
Bulldogs falter in playoff opener
WHITEVILLE — The St. Pauls girls tennis team's season came to an end Tuesday as Whiteville eliminated the Bulldogs 8-1 in the first round of the state 2A dual team playoffs.
Panther Creek sweeps Pirates
CARY — Panther Creek swept the singles and doubles matches to bounce the Lumberton girls tennis squad from the state 4A dual team playoffs. The Pirates finished the season with an 8-3 record.