East Surry showed it could hang with the conference champ, but North Surry still prevailed 3-0 in volleyball Thursday.
The Lady Cardinals built nice leads in two of the three games, but the Lady Greyhounds came from behind each time.
The Cards and Hounds both came into the match with perfect records in the Northwest Conference. In the end, North improved to 8-0 and East fell to 6-1.
North middle hitter Malaya Johnson was out with an illness, meaning the Hounds wouldn’t have the 6-foot-2 player to counter East’s 6-foot-3 Keri Fulp.
Still, the Hounds broke a 4-4 tie with four straight points and steadily built on that for an 18-9 lead in the first set.
East Surry countered with three straight points to make it 18-12. North responded with four straight themselves and took the set 25-15.
East Coach Caleb Gilley got on his players during the changeover, and the Cards started off the second frame strong.
From a 2-2 tie, the Cards went ahead 11-5. Then from 11-8, the Cards ran off eight straight points for a double-digit lead of 18-8.
Gilley called a timeout when the Hounds ran off a 6-1 spurt to draw to 21-16. East scored twice more to go up 23-16 as Fulp went to the bench for a backline defender.
With Fulp on the sideline, North took control of the game. Seven straight points drew a second timeout from Gilley.
At 24-21, the Cards held set point, but couldn’t score again. The Hounds took the last five points, part of a 10-1 run for a 26-24 win.
The Fulp effect was evident in the third game as well. With the senior in the lineup, East streaked out to a 9-0 lead and built a 12-6 margin. Then when she rotated to the back line and went to the bench, North ripped off a 9-3 run to tie the set at 15-all.
Even when Fulp came back, the Hounds were able to stay close and finally took the lead at 21-20. They went on to win 25-21 to clinch the match.
“We had several … people play well in different spots tonight,” North Coach Shane Slate said after the match. “It is always interesting to see how a team will adjust when you have to make changes due to illness, and everyone responded.”
Erin March took Johnson’s spot in the lineup, and track standout Alex Cooke played significant time as well.
March led the Hounds with four blocks, while Cooke added three.
“We did not play particularly well at the start of sets one and two,” Slate admitted. “They were making some plays, and we were making unforced errors, too.
“But, we had a couple of people find their groove to get us going. Molly (Martin) and Maddison (Hawks) passed really well. Taylor (Hill) and Kristina (Rumplasch) were efficient at the net with their attacks.”
Hill led the Hounds with 15 kills. Rumplasch had 11 kills and Martin six.
Hill also led with 14 digs, while Hawks provided 11 and Martin nine.
“Bailey (Culler), Molly and Kristina gave us a good mix of serves that helped take them out of system some,” he said.
Martin was 19-20 with two aces. Culler was 9-9 with two aces, and Rumplasch was 13-14 with two aces.
Culler paced North with 31 assists.
For East Surry, Fulp had 14 kills and seven blocks.
The rest of the team didn’t provide many kills, Gilley admitted. The other Cards must do a better job of stepping up and getting good, hard hits on the front line.
“North Surry made runs, and we couldn’t stop them,” he said. Better attacking would prevent those kinds of droughts, he added.
“But you’ve got to give North Surry credit,” he said. “They’re a good team, and they never gave up.”
Sydney Mosley led East with 15 digs, and Olivia Sheets provided 16 assists.
“I was very pleased with our serving,” he said. The team finished 53-56 at the line, and at one point Kacie Markle served the team to nine straight points.
“I felt like we didn’t do a good job of reading Molly and Kristina’s hits,” he said. That could have led to more blocks and fewer kills.
North Surry (13-0 overall) hosts a trimatch this Saturday with Starmount and McMichael. East Surry (9-3) hosts Bishop McGuinness Tuesday.
Reach Jeff Linville at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1920.