HIGH SCHOOL VOLLEYBALL: Foard sweeps, brings home state title for seventh time

Published Saturday, November 9th, 2019

Fred T. Foard, the regular season and tournament champion this season in the Northwestern Foothills 2A, added a state title on Saturday in Fayetteville by beating Ayden-Grifton in three sets at Fayetteville State University./NCHSAA PHOTOS

Tigers finish 31-1, capture 2A title by dominating Ayden-Grifton


Michelle Thao of Foard was named the Most Valuable Player after the Tigers won the state 2A title on Saturday in Fayetteville.


FAYETTEVILLE – Make that 7-for-7 for Fred T. Foard High’s volleyball program.

The Tigers won their seventh state title — this time winning 2A with a 3-0 victory over Ayden-Grifton on Saturday at Fayetteville State University on Saturday – to add to their other six state championships.

Foard (31-1), the top seed in the West, dominated in every set to sweep third-seeded Ayden-Grifton (22-6).

The Tigers’ Michelle Thao was named the Most Valuable Player, registering five kills and 12 digs. Dara Schaffer added 13 kills and two aces and Megan Dorsey had 11 kills for Foard, the Northwestern Foothills 2A regular season and tournament champion.

The Chargers were within 9-6 in the opening set after a 7:30 p.m. start before Foard got hot and won 25-15.

Foard did not trail in the second or third sets, winning 25-12 and 25-11 to close it out.

Emily Dykes had eight kills and Alexis Bryant had six for Ayden-Grifton.

The state title is the first for Foard since 2005 when its head coach, Meredith Lombardi, was a late-season call up from the junior varsity.

The late Linda Richards coached Foard to state 3A titles in 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2002 and coached the 2011 Newton-Conover team to a state 2A title.

Lettie Wilkes coached Foard to 3A titles in 2003 and 2005.

The only other Greater Hickory area school with a volleyball state title is Freedom in 1999, coached by Ginny Erwin.

Michelle Thao of Foard makes a play during Saturday’s state 2A championship match against Ayden-Grifton. The Tigers won 3-0, finishing 31-1 this season and adding their school’s seventh state title in volleyball.

Dara Shaffer makes a play at the net in Foard’s state 2A championship volleyball battle with Ayden-Grifton on Saturday at Fayetteville State University.


Volleyball teams from the Greater Hickory area that have won state volleyball titles:

Year     School                 Class             Head coach

2019     Foard                       2A               Meredith Lombardi

2011      N-Conover            2A                Linda Richards

2005    Foard                      3A                Lettie Wilkes

2003    Foard                     3A               Lettie Wilkes

2002    Foard                    3A               Linda Richards

1999    Freedom               4A               Joanna Crew

1997    Foard                    3A               Linda Richards

1996    Foard                   3A                Linda Richards

1995    Foard                   3A                Linda Richards


1995 3A: Fred T. Foard 3, Asheboro 0

1996 3A: Fred T. Foard 3, Wilson Beddingfield 0

1997 3A: Fred T. Foard 3, SW Guilford 1

1999 4A: Freedom 3, Durham Riverside 1

2002 3A: Fred T. Foard 3, E. Chapel Hill 0

2003 3A: Fred T. Foard 3, Manteo 0

2005 3A: Fred T. Foard 3, Greenville Conley 0

2011 2A: Newton-Conover 3, Elizabeth City Northeastern 0

2019 3A: Fred T. Foard 3, Ayden-Grifton 0

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