PILOT MOUNTAIN — Bishop McGuinness took a 2-1 lead in volleyball, but East Surry came back for a five-set win.
The Lady Cardinals led 9-6 in the first set when the Lady Villains posted an 8-2 run to take the lead.
Bishop continued to lead and was up 21-17 when the Cards ran off a 5-1 run to tie the score at 22-all.
The Bishop coach called a timeout, and when play resumed, the Villains took the last three points for a 25-22 win.
“We came out flat with no energy and no focus,” said Coach Caleb Gilley.
The Cards had several errant serves in that first set and 16 missed serves for the match.
Bishop did a fantastic job on serves, Gilley noted.
The Villains led 9-8 in the second set when the Cards ran off seven straight points behind Gabi Jessup’s serve.
That may be the best rotation when Gabi is serving and Keri Fulp is hitting up front, the coach said.
With that 15-9 lead, the Cards stayed comfortably ahead all the way to a 25-17 win to tie the match at 1-1.
In the third set, East led 7-5 when Bishop made an 8-1 spurt to take a 13-8 lead, prompting Gilley to call a timeout.
After East scored three points to close to 13-11, the visitors went on another 8-1 run for a 21-12 lead.
Behind Olivia Sheets serve, the Cards later ran off six straight points to close to 22-19, but Bishop prevailed 25-21.
Bishop opened with a 6-4 lead, but Fulp made a couple of aces during a 7-0 push to 11-6 that forced a Bishop timeout.
At 14-8, the two teams battled back and forth on the longest rally of the night. Even though Bishop won the point, the Cards didn’t falter and scored three of the next four points for a 17-11 lead.
At 17-12, the Cards scored a point, but the scoreboard credited the visiting team instead. A couple of points later, when the correct score was posted (19-15), the Bishop coach held up play for several minutes, complaining about the score change.
After the lengthy delay, the Cards missed three straight points, allowing Bishop to close to 19-18. Still, they held on for a 25-23 win to force a fifth set.
The style of play on Bishop’s front line seemed to throw the Cards off-balance in the early sets. Rather than taking big swings like Fulp (and rival North Surry), the Villains hit a lot of tips and sets over the net, looking for holes in the defense.
East Surry was getting up at the net, trying to make blocks, but the balls were arcing over the block attempts and falling to the floor.
“The blocks were there,” said Gilley, “but they weren’t very effective.”
By that fourth set, the Cards were prepared for the tips and got to more balls, the coach said.
In the deciding set, the home team jumped out to a 6-1 lead, drawing a timeout from Bishop.
The Villains closed to 10-7, but East ran off three straight points to 13-7 and led to a second timeout.
East won the set 15-8 when Fulp made her 25th kill of the match.
“Set five was the only set we had energy in,” said Gilley. “It’s not always pretty, but a win is a win.”
He credited Bishop for good floor coverage, keeping several balls alive.
In addition to her kills, Fulp had five blocks and nine service aces.
Kacie Markle had 13 kills, Destiny Edmonds nine, Ashley Smith six, Jessup four and Sheets three.
Sydney Mosley led the defense with 14 digs, and Jessica Barker had 10 and Laken Bowman eight. Edmonds, Sheets and Jesse Barr added seven each, Jessup six and Smith four.
Markle had three blocks and Jessup two.
Sheets finished with 46 assists and three aces. Smith added Smith nine assists.
East Surry is back in action today, traveling to Alleghany. Then the Cards travel to North Stokes on Thursday.