North pulls out tight sets

Last updated: September 03. 2014 12:00AM - 301 Views
By - jlinville@civitasmedia.com



West Forsyth goes up for the block, but North Surry's Mikaela Johnson goes around the defenders.
West Forsyth goes up for the block, but North Surry's Mikaela Johnson goes around the defenders.
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North Surry ran away with the first set, but then the visiting Lady Titans made a close match of it.


The Lady Greyhounds won 25-15 in the opening game, but the next three were tight before North downed West Forsyth 3-1.


West Forsyth, a 4A school, called a timeout early in the first set as North used a 5-1 run to break a tie.


The Titans stayed as close at 17-14 before North finished the game on an 8-1 run.


Morgan Hawks served the Hounds to several points, including an ace.


Taylor Hill spiked a point from the left side to reach 23, then Amber Simmons followed with a spike from the right side for 24 as North won by 10 points.


“We played our cleanest set of the season to open tonight’s match,” said head coach Shane Slate. “We had a solid serve receive and made only a couple of errors on the final contact during that first set.”


In the second frame, North led 6-3 before West battled back and took its first lead of the match at 10-9.


North responded with a 7-2 push to retake the lead and draw a West Forsyth timeout.


North led 20-16 when West scored three points to draw within one.


West senior Anna Funk made a great diving, one-handed dig to keep the next point alive, but North finished the play for a 21-19 lead.


Funk stayed down for a minute, left the game and didn’t come back in the set.


North inched closer to 24-22 then Maggie Hawks made a great dig to keep the ball alive, and Hill spiked home the winning point, 25-22.


West opened up with a lead, 3-2, in the third frame. Then with Jordan Badgett serving, the Hounds scored four straight for the lead. That was one of four lead changes to go with several ties in the fourth.


Funk came back for West and served the team on a 5-0 run.


North retook the lead at 12-10, but West put together its best run of the night, scoring eight points for an 18-10 lead.


The home crowd had been fairly quiet up to this point. However, as North tried to rally back, the fans became excited and cheered loudly.


North closed to within a point at 23-22, but fell 25-22.


In the fourth set, North was ahead 11-9 when West ran off five straight points, drawing a timeout from Slate.


Eventually the Hounds battled back to a 16-all tie.


Back and forth the two teams went with some big swings from the front line. Liberos Maggie Hawks and Maddy Gautreax and their back lines had to make some tough, diving saves.


Tied at 20-20, the teams had their longest rally of the evening before North finally put the ball down to take the lead.


Even though West got the next point to tie it again at 21-all, the momentum seemed to be in North’s favor, and the Hounds won the next four points to finish the match.


“West is a good team that runs a faster tempo on offense, and I thought our perimeter defenders were in good position most of the night so we were able to dig a lot of their swings,” said Slate.


“Our offense helped our defense out by limiting them to two options a lot of times,” he said.


Hill led that offense with 22 kills, while Aubrey Hall had nine and Mikaela Johnson seven.


“Taylor was really sharp early and finished with 22 kills to only 5 errors in 51 attempts,” said Slate.


Hall also was efficient with only two errors in 35 swings, said Slate, “with most of her balls putting pressure on their defense.”


Morgan Hawks fed the front line with 37 assists.


Sister Maggie had 22 digs to tie Hill for the team lead, while Hall added 16.


Martha Holt had two stuffs and went a perfect 9/9 serving.


Hall was 20/23, with two aces. Morgan Hawks was 14/16, with four aces


“I felt like we made progress tonight, and that is important with only one more match before conference play starts next week,” said Slate.


The Hounds (5-2) host North Stokes today.


 
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