ocean — Another postseason match, another straight-set sweep for the Croatan volleyball team.

Showing no signs of slowing down, the Cougars (21-2 overall) handed second-round foe Anson a 25-17, 25-12, 25-9 loss Tuesday for their 13th straight 3-0 victory and 19th of the season.

“We’ve had straight sets in a lot of matches,” Croatan coach Lindsey Gurley said. “Does that make us prepared for the playoffs? Yes and no. It makes me nervous that we haven’t gone to four and five a lot, but we get a lot of preparation in practice.”Somehow, the Cougars have not played a five-set match once this season. They have lost twice, however, falling to New Bern 3-0 on Aug. 22 and West Carteret 3-1 on Aug. 27. Both losses were to quality opponents, with New Bern (17-9) ranked No. 11 in the 4A classification, according to MaxPreps.com, and West (14-9) ranked No. 41 in the 3A.

Croatan was seeded No. 7 in the playoffs after winning the 1A/2A Coastal 8 Conference with a perfect 14-0 record. It defeated No. 26 North Lenoir 3-0 on Saturday.

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OCEAN — Croatan handled its business in front of a senior night crowd Wednesday, handing East Carteret a second 9-0 loss in a quick 49 minutes.

Travis Garner-McGraw put away the final goal nine minutes into the second half to satisfy the nine-goal mercy rule and give the Cougars (13-5-2 overall) their second win of the season over the Mariners (5-11).  

It was the final regular season match for both 1A/2A Coastal 8 Conference teams, with the state playoffs just around the corner. Seedings will be announced Monday, and the first round will be Wednesday.

The Cougars will advance to the postseason as the second-place team from the 2A portion of the Coastal 8. They went 12-2 in the league with both losses to Dixon (18-1-1), the No. 11 team in the classification, according to MaxPreps.com.

The Mariners defeated Lejeune 4-0 Monday to improve to 3-1 against 1A opponents in the Coastal 8. They finished 5-9 overall in league play. East is likely to get a home game in the first round as the top seed from the conference in its 1A bracket.

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SOUTHERN PINES — Jenna Rutledge improved greatly in her second trip to the 1A/2A girls golf state championship.

The East Carteret sophomore finished seventh in the 78-player field at the two-day event.

She shot 80 on both days to end up with a 150 on Tuesday at Longleaf Golf and Family Club’s 5,215-yard layout.

As a freshman last season, she shot 192 with a 97 on the first day and a 95 on the second to finish 38th.

Croatan junior Caroline Harvey also qualified for the event and finished 61st with a 208 after shooting 99 and 109 at the two-day tournament.

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JACKSON SPRINGS — West Carteret junior Sydney McKee and senior Mason Starling competed Monday and Tuesday at the 3A girls golf state championship.

McKee shot 108 on day one and 98 on day two for a 206 to finish 68th in the 78-player event at Foxfire Resort and Golf Course’s Red Fox Course. Starling shot 113 and 109 for a 222 to end up 75th.

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(For complete stories of these briefs, see the newsstand and home delivery edition or the full online e-edition.)

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