North Surry began its defense of the 2A state title by downing Wilkes Central Saturday.
The reigning volleyball champions opened the playoffs with a 3-0 win over the visiting Lady Eagles, with each set won by double digits.
Despite missing two regulars, the Lady Greyhounds had enough firepower in player of the year Malaya Johnson, who finished with a game-high 15 kills.
Starter Taylor Hill is still resting a badly sprained ankle, and her replacement, Alex Cooke, also missed Saturday’s match.
Coach Shane Slate moved Johnson over to Hill’s outside hitter spot and used Kendra McKeithen to rotate with Erin March in the middle.
“We were very efficient with our contacts this afternoon,” said Slate. “We limited our errors to an acceptable level and took advantage of our hitters at the net. We did a good job of being in the correct position on defense to eliminate any chance of them going on a run.”
While North Surry had several spurts throughout the match, Wilkes Central never scored more than three points in a row in any set.
The Greyhounds opened the first set 11-3. Then from 16-9, they ran out the rest of the game 9-0 behind the serve of Aubrey Hall.
The second set was tied 3-3 when North edged out to an 11-6 lead. After an Eagle point, the Hounds scored six straight points behind Morgan Hawks’ serve. Up 17-7, the team cruised to a 25-13 win.
North opened the third set up 11-2 and began subbing in some reserves. The Hounds still took the set 25-11.
After Johnson, March was next highest in kills with seven. Bailey Culler handed out 27 assists.
Johnson and March had three stuffs each.
Abby Golding led the back row with 15 digs.
Culler was a perfect 15/15 serving with three aces. Johnson was 8/8 with an ace.
On Tuesday, the Hounds will host West Stanly (15-7), which beat North Rowan in the first round.
In other area action, West Wilkes swept Stuart Cramer 3-0 and will travel to Lake Norman Charter, which knocked South Stokes out Saturday.
Forbush upset Mount Pleasant 3-1 and will take on North Wilkes, which beat Hunter Huss.
West Stokes beat Salisbury and will travel to West Davidson, which downed Parkwood.