Not until a few weeks ago did the weight of the idea that her high school career was ending finally hit Carter Cloud.
The Heritage Hall senior had been so focused on getting her team prepared for a run at the Class 5A state volleyball championship, that the fact it would be her last hadn't hit home.
Now, she only has a maximum of three matches — and she hopes three wins — left in her career.
“We had Senior Night last week, and it was so surreal to have to think it was my last game,” Cloud said. “I didn't even know how important it was going to be to me, but for the last month, I've just been counting down to this. The fact that we're going to be going for that state championship this weekend is so insane to me. I can't believe this is the last one.”
Class 5A's top-ranked Chargers open against last year's Class 4A champion, Lincoln Christian, at 3:30 p.m. Friday at Westmoore High School. The 5A and 6A semifinals and finals are Saturday at Westmoore.
Cloud is the only Heritage Hall senior, and she has yet to experience a state championship, despite seeing the team win four straight before her freshman year.
This year's team has been rejoined by head coach Bill Hamiter, who coached the title teams before leaving to focus on his work with the USA Paralympic sitting-volleyball team.
Hamiter helped last year's Chargers, and resumed head coaching duties this year, despite missing some time to go to London for the 2012 Paralympics.