DOBSON — Surry Central came back midway through the third set to pull ahead and take a 3-1 win over Mount Airy in the Northwest volleyball tournament.
The Lady Eagles (13-3 in the conference) hosted the match as the second seed. The Lady Bears tied with Bishop for sixth place at 5-11, but lost out on seeding tiebreakers and was ranked the seventh team for the three-day conference tourney.
The Bears didn’t play like a low seed as they put together a 20-11 surge in the first set for the win.
The Eagles jumped out to an 8-3 lead, drawing a timeout from Bears Coach Kim Lyons.
Mount Airy responded with five straight points with Charli Hiatt serving.
In the early going, the Bears had some passing errors, but the Eagles were having issues with their swings at the net.
“We were not in our groove; we were up in a frenzy,” said Central Coach Carrie Hutchens. The girls had to work out all of the kinks before they could get into the Eagles’ game.
Once the two teams settled in, the quality of play vastly improved.
“We played some good volleyball, and Mount Airy did, too,” Hutchens said. “They covered the floor very well.”
The Bears’ defense forced the Eagles to mix up their hits, tips and dunks to try to catch the Bears off-balance.
From 8-all, the two teams scored one point at a time, tying at each number from eight to 13 before Central went ahead 17-14.
From 18-15, the Bears put together a 5-1 run to take the lead at 20-19, drawing a Central timeout.
The run grew to 8-1 as the Bears went up 23-19 and won 25-21.
Still, the Eagles’ last point came off a powerful kill by Kelsey Taylor, the first of several good hits as the Eagles turned the momentum back to the home team.
Central took a 6-1 lead at the start of the second set, and the Bears pulled back to 8-6. Central went up 13-8, and Mount Airy called a timeout.
The lead narrowed to 16-15, but the Eagles put together a 7-1 spurt and won 25-19 to tie the match 1-1.
The Bears went ahead 10-6 in the pivotal third set, as the Eagles called a timeout.
Mount Airy was still ahead at 16-13 when Central ran off six of the next seven points to take a 19-17 lead that it would not relinquish in winning 25-20. The finishing run was 12-4 for the home team.
That took a lot of the spirit out of the visiting Bears. Meagan Hutson served Central to a 7-0 lead, and the Eagles went on to win 25-11 to advance to the semifinals.
Courtney Hegler and Cassidy Joyner led the Eagles with 12 kills each. Brittany Lewis and Kaitlin Kidd added five each, Tori Blevins four and Kendra Johnson two.
Hutson set up the front line with 19 assists; Holly Mason added eight and Kidd three.
Johnson led the defense with 17 digs, Kidd nine, Joyner eight, Hegler four, Taylor three and two each for Lewis and Hutson.
Taylor had two stuff blocks and Kidd one.
Hutson had the busiest night at the service line, going 25-27 with four aces. Joyner was 16-19 with two aces, and Johnson 6-7 one ace. Also serving were Kidd 7-9 with two aces, Taylor 7-7, Mason 6-6, Lewis 4-5 and Hegler 5-7.
Surry Central plays again today at 6 p.m. against third-seeded East Surry, which defeated Bishop Monday. North Surry will play the winner of North Stokes/West Stokes at about 7:30 p.m.
Reach Jeff Linville at email@example.com or at 719-1920.