Lady Hounds bounce back from slow start, beat Falcons 3-1
by Jeff Linville Staff Reporter
North Surry’s volleyball winning streak reached 14 with a 3-1 victory over Forbush Tuesday.
The Lady Greyhounds dropped the first set, then won three straight over the Lady Falcons.
“Our team came together and played with a lot of balance,” said Coach Shane Slate. “We overcame some adversity due to illness, especially without any practice time.”
Malaya Johnson, the 6-foot-2 middle hitter, was in street clothes, with 5-foot-9 Kendra McKeithen taking her place.
While she didn’t post any heavy stats, “Kendra gave us some balance in the middle,” Slate said.
“Tonight was good for a lot of reasons,” the coach said. In addition to overcoming Johnson’s absence, Slate pointed out that his team is in first place in the new Western Piedmont Conference after the first trip through league play.
The Hounds are seeking to win the conference regular-season title, “so we are in an advantageous position to accomplish that goal.”
In the first set, the Falcons led 10-8 when North ran off four straight points, including back-to-back aces from Bailey Culler, who was 17/17 serving with four aces on the night.
However, with the Hounds up 17-15, Forbush made a 4-0 run of its own to take the lead and then won 25-21.
Forbush took the first two points of the second set before the Hounds ran off seven straight points with Alex Cooke serving.
The Falcons scored four straight to pull within a point, and the two teams played evenly up to 18-16. From there, the Hounds won the final seven points for a 25-16 set.
“Our target serving after the first set helped us keep them out of their offensive system and gave us some easier balls to handle for our offense,” said Slate.
In the third set, North jumped out to a 9-2 lead, forcing a Forbush timeout. The Falcons had a 6-0 run to get back in the game.
At 16-14, the Hounds ran off five points with Erin March serving and kept that working margin for a 25-18 win.
Forbush didn’t fold and came out fighting in the fourth set.
Down 14-9, the Falcons scored six straight points to take a 15-14 lead. From an 18-all tie, the Hounds scored twice to go ahead and went on to finish the match 25-22.
“As a team I thought we were really good on defense most of the night with six players having at least seven digs,” said Slate.
Abby Golding led with 16 digs, followed by Morgan Hawks and Taylor Hill with 10 each.
“We had three attackers post double-digit kills so our offense had some variation,” he said.
Hawks led the team with 13 kills, Taylor Hill 12 and Cooke 10.
“Individually, Erin had a great night serving, Morgan gave us several smart kills, Bailey had her serve control dialed in,” said Slate.
Bailey Culler handed out 34 assists. March had seven blocks and McKeithen four.
At the service line, March went 21/22 with four aces and Hawks 18/19 with one ace.
In late scores from Monday, the Hounds swept East Wilkes 3-0.
North Surry took the first two sets by identical 25-15 sets. Then the third set was slightly closer at 25-18.
“We picked up a good nonconference win against East Wilkes,” said Slate. “It is always good to play a team we are unfamiliar with in preparation for the playoffs.”
In serves, Johnson was a perfect 15/15, Culler 10/10 and Golding 21/22 with one ace.
Culler provided 28. Hill led kills with 12, while Johnson had eight.
Golding led in digs with 19, and Culler 11. Johnson and Erin March each had five blocks.
North Surry hosts West Stokes in a conference match Thursday.
In JV action, the Hounds beat East Wilkes 25-12, 25-21 on Monday. The Hounds won in three sets over Forbush 24-14, 22-25, 25-13.
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