Caldwell Academy Volleyball Is Back!!!!! (Almost!)

Special report to by Chris Black

It’s the day that Caldwell Academy volleyball seniors Christina Phillips, Lindsey Macdiarmid, and Gabby Black have been praying for since the North Carolina Independent School Athletic Association (NCISAA) announced their plans for the restart of high school sports: September 15 – the first match of their final high school season.

The three seniors have attended Caldwell since kindergarten and fell in love with the sport of volleyball in their elementary school years. They came up thru the successful middle school volleyball program at Caldwell under Coach Bishop and Coach Shepherd, going undefeated for their middle school careers. They joined Coach Bozarth’s (aka Coach Bo) high school program on the JV team as 8th graders, allowing them to practice against stronger Caldwell varsity players and compete in higher level JV matches. They’ve had rewarding high school careers – conference championships for the team each year, along with individual accolades. Each has claimed All-Conference honors, with Macdiarmid also being selected as NCISAA All-State for 2019. They’ve helped their team to deep playoff runs, but all three would agree there is one more goal left to reach: a state championship trophy. They hope to bring that championship trophy back to Horsepen Creek Road before they finish their high school careers.

In addition to the 3 seniors, Caldwell returns All-Conference selections Madison Bozarth (10th) and Sophia Plasman (11th). Plasman was selected as Conference Player Of The Year in 2019 and earned All-State honors. A strong supporting cast of mostly underclassmen also returns for Caldwell including Sarah Angel, Delaney Gilboy, Kinsleigh Newkirk, Elizabeth Jones, and Danielle Phillips.

With Covid-19 precautions in place, things will look different this year. A season that normally starts in early August is now condensed and kicks off in mid September. At practice, players wear face protection when they gather with their coach, high fives are discouraged, and lots of sanitation precautions are in place. Once matches start, there will be no traditional handshakes between teams before or after matches. Spectators are not allowed in the stands, at least to start the season. The state association will review the spectator attendance policy after the season starts.

The season kicks off on September 15 against Wesleyan Christian. Wesleyan is expected to be led by the Junior duo of Ava Brown (All-State selection 2019) and Morgan Downs. While it’s been a few years since these two schools matched up on the volleyball court, there’s a lot of familiarity between both coaches and players. They’ve been on the same teams and practiced with each other through local indoor and beach volleyball clubs. With the high school volleyball season much in doubt for most of the summer, expect both teams to be thankful to be back on the court no matter the outcome of the match.

Courtesy of Chris Black, covering Caldwell Academy Volleyball, for