Mount Airy swept the Community School of Davidson 3-0 to advance to the third round of the state 1A volleyball playoffs.
On paper, CSD had a distinct advantage, with a record of 16-2 to Mount Airy’s 10-17. However, the advantage appeared to be with the home team all night as the Lady Bears won 25-16, 25-20 and 25-21.
“We pulled together and played as a team,” said Coach Kim Lyons. “This was as cohesive as we’ve been all season.”
With the playoffs under way, the team is coming together at the right time, she believed.
“We minimized our errors and started picking out the weak points and taking advantage,” she said. “Our hustle was enormous.”
In the early going, the Bears were off with their attacks. They gave away a few points on spikes by either hitting the net or sailing the ball long.
Then from a 4-4 tie, the Bears ran off eight straight points behind Kathryn Beasley’s jump serve.
Kathryn was 16-18 at the line, and the team made 13 points off those 16 in-play serves, noted the coach.
The Bears led 16-8 when CSD made a push, scoring five of the next seven points to cut the lead to 18-13.
Then Jasmine Varney gave Mount Airy two straight points off back-to-back stuff blocks.
She’s had a solid, but quiet season, Lyons said of Varney. She has been sneaking up on teams all season, so it was great to see her come out and shine.
“She had her night, she had 10 attack attempts with seven kills — that’s huge,” said Lyons. “She didn’t have any attacking errors … and she had four blocks.”
That tells you that she was a strong point, a go-to girl, the coach added. If she was on the front line, Jasmine is who the setters were looking for.
Varney also was 7-8 serving with an ace.
Varney’s two blocks led to a 21-13 lead and a timeout from the visiting coach. The Bears won the set 25-16.
In the second set, each team made its runs.
Mount Airy led 6-5, then put together a 7-1 spurt to take an 13-6 lead. The Community School then scored five straight to close to just two points.
CSD tied the game at 17-all, then took a 19-17 lead.
The Bears won a point and got the serve back. Then Charli Hiatt served the team to four more points for a 22-19 lead. The Bears won the set 25-20.
Hiatt was a perfect 16-16 on the night serving to go along with a team-high 13 digs.
CSD was slightly closer in the third set, but the home team and crowd could smell blood and finished off the match 25-21.
Beasley led the team with eight kills, but setter Dana Brown was also very effective. She racked up seven kills sending the ball over on the second touch before the defense was ready, according to Lyons.
Brown also had seven assists, while Tessa Rodgers led the team with 19 assists.
Katie Hicks provided three blocks.
Lyons praised her team’s floor coverage throughout the match.
There have been a few spells this season where the girls had trouble reading what the offense was doing, she explained.
However, the players have improved through the season and have gotten better at knowing where to be and adjusting to strategies on the fly.
Bishop McGuinness upset Union Academy Tuesday and will host Thursday’s match with Mount Airy.
Mount Airy, Bishop and East Surry all defeated opponents with better winning percentages.
“Our conference is very competitive, and I think that has helped prepare us for what we are seeing now,” said Lyons.