The Lady Greyhounds opened the 2014 volleyball season with a 3-0 win over Watauga at home.
North Surry only trailed very briefly, but Watauga refused to go away, scrapping all the way to the end.
In the first set, the score was tied 6-all before North put together five straight points with Morgan Hawks serving.
After a Watauga timeout, the visiting team came back to make it a 12-11 game.
Then North had a four-point burst as Maggie Hawks boomed three straight serves, including an ace.
From there, the Hounds began to pull away, finishing the set on a 13-3 run, winning 25-14.
“I think we answered some questions tonight about the things we are capable of,” said coach Shane Slate. “But we need to develop some consistency so we can build on the positive plays we make.”
Bad serving hurt the Hounds in the early going of the second set.
In one stretch, the Hounds won four straight rallies, but gave back the points with three straight serves that were out of play.
From 14-12, the Hounds scored back-to-back points to draw a timeout from the Lady Pioneers at 16-12.
Watauga battled back to 16-15, but North refused to let the Pioneers draw even.
In one rally, Taylor Hill hit a hard spike, but Watauga was able to get the ball back up in the air. Morgan Hawks took the free ball and went straight back to Hill who pounded a second swing through the defender’s block for a 20-16 lead. The Hounds went on to take a 25-20 set with Hill scoring the last point on an ace.
“Both teams served aggressively and I thought we had an edge early in the match,” said Slate, “but we lost our concentration in the second set and had too many bad misses instead of the few good misses we had in the first set.”
North forced an early timeout in the third set, jumping out to a 5-1 lead. The Hounds stayed in control over the next few points.
“The third set was a great example of the inconsistency because we were up 14 to 8 but could not stay on a roll, so we had to scramble the rest of the match,” said Slate.
Watauga upped its intensity level with players diving all over the floor.
The Pioneers clawed back with an 8-2 run to tie the match at 16-all. They took the lead at 18-17, the only lead the visitors had all night (except for 1-0 at the start of the second game).
North responded with four straight points to retake the lead at 21-18 and eventually finished a 25-23 win.
“I thought we did a pretty good job most of the night against the fast tempo Watauga was running,” said Slate. “We need to do a little better job finishing blocks and clearing perimeter defenders to their appropriate position.”
Hill led the Hounds in kills with 14. Aubrey Hall added five and Martha Holt and Mikaela Johnson four each.
Morgan Hawks set up those kills with 28 assists.
On the back row, libero Maggie Hawks had 16 digs, Hill 10 and Jordan Badgett nine.
Johnson and Amber Simmons had one stuff block each.
At the service line, Badgett went a perfect 11/11 with an ace. Morgan Hawks was 14/16 with two aces, and Hall was 11/13 with five aces.
The Hounds travel to East Surry on Thursday. Then on Saturday, they travel to Starmount for a trimatch with Reagan.