PILOT MOUNTAIN — The Lady Cardinals lost their fourth game of the season against the North Surry Greyhounds 3-1 at home Tuesday.
East Surry Coach Caleb Gilley said he was looking for the team to specifically “pass and serve” Tuesday night to win.
The Lady Cards fell short of their goal but played with heart. They were not going to be shut out.
Greyhounds took the first set 21-24; Cardinals took the second one 25-27; and the final match went 25-17 to the Greyhounds.
The Greyhounds overall record improved to 23-1 for the season, and the Cardinals disappointing loss at their last home game made them 15-6.
Seniors Jessica Barker, Ashley Smith, Destiny Edmonds and Keri Fulp were treated to a dinner prepared by teammates, coaches and family’s after the game to celebrate the night. The seniors believed that the match would be tough, they said earlier. They knew to win would require mental toughness, hitting blocks and “stopping the run” against North Surry and, said Edmonds, “teamwork and being a family.”
The Cardinals rallied hard against the No. 1 ranked Greyhounds. Sometimes, the footwork was not pretty but scrappy, but it was effective in match two where defense, hitting, hard, net defending and attacking finally broke the rhythm of the Greyhounds.
Malaya Johnson, a junior and middle hitter Greyhound, battled hard all night. She hit 12/13 serves including one ace, 13 kills and nine blocks. Lady Card senior hitter Keri Fulp hit back with dominating serves and kills of her own.
North Surry Coach Shane Slate said simply, their winning strategy Tuesday would be to “play good volleyball.” He did not characterize the final result of the victory as “a particularly sharp win,” but it did clinch the Greyhounds’ fourth consecutive championship. The team will travel to Starmount tonight.
Both teams shared missed opportunities Tuesday with unforced errors in the match. East Surry started off slow in the first match but volleyed to being within three points of the Greyhounds. In set three, the Lady Cards blew the lead several times squandering it with mental errors and missed serves.
Though the Lady Cards did not win, the seniors reached at least one of their goals by interrupting the G rhythm, delivering hard serves and kills and fought a net skirmish attack containing some beautiful blocks by the team.
Other top scorers for the Greyhounds were: Molly Martin with 11 kills and 16 digs; Taylor Hill with 11 kills and nine digs; Kristina Rumplasch with nine kills, five blocks and 11/13 serves with one ace; and Bailey Culler with 13/13 serves and a whopping 42 assists.
Statistics for the Cardinals had not been received at press time. They will play today at Bishop McGuinness.