DANBURY — The Lady Greyhounds clinched victory last night in an aggressive win defeating the Golden Eagles 3-1 to take the Northwest Volleyball Conference Championship at North Stokes High School. The Vikings hosted the Northwest volleyball playoffs this year in Danbury.
The Lady Greyhounds came into the match against the Eagles with a 16-0 record in the conference and 27-2 overall. The win last night advances them to the first round of the state playoffs this Saturday. The Lady Eagles came ready to battle as the second place conference seed with a season record of 13-3.
The location and time of the first round of the state playoffs for the Greyhounds has yet to be announced.
Both North Surry and Surry Central came off tough matches Tuesday night but came in ready to play. North Surry won the first, second and third match. The score was 25-23, 25-20, and 25-14.
North Surry was ranked 23rd in the state coming into the match Wednesday and beat West Stokes to get to the finale 3-1.
Surry Central came into the game after rallying back Tuesday in a tiebreaker match against East Surry that ended in a score of 16-14 of the fifth set tiebreaker.
Before the game Greyhounds Coach Shane Slate said that he expected the team “to play as well as they could to win but is always looking for improvement in every game.” He wanted to avoid unforced errors of which there was a few on serves and returns, but the Eagles were not able to capitalize consistently on them.
He stated that he saw the start of the match as slow but saw enough of a momentum increase to get some separation from Surry Central.
The errors were fewer for the Greyhounds in the last match and the scores reflected it. Slate said he hopes to continue the smart play as they advance to the State Playoff Championship round.
The Eagles did fight back in scrappy fashion, but the combination of not capitalizing on Greyhound errors and making more than their opponents did get them into trouble. Their defense was not as strong as usual and truly a battle at the net wore them down, but overall they held up well against the tough Greyhound blockers in the front line.
The Lady Greyhounds were effective in forcing them out of their usual tempo and they picked up their defensive play after the first close match of 25-23. The Eagles took the lead several times in the second match but missed serves and hitting the ball into the net squander opportunity to press the advantage.
Hutchens called the timeouts but once the Greyhounds get on a run they have proven to be dangerous. As they took the lead in the second match, they went to press harder and separated the distance between the Eagles for victory.
Overall, Head Coach Carrie Hutchens said the Lady Golden Eagles played well the first match especially and as a team but said “their errors is what lost the match for them.” They will play North Stanley High School at home in the State Playoff round on Saturday.
Leading scorers of the victory match for the Greyhounds were Malaya Johnson with 14 kills and one block; Kristina Rumplasch with 10 skills and 11 digs and was 20/20 serving with three aces; Molly Martin with seven kills and 14 digs; Bailey Culler had another whopping 33 assists and was 10/11 in serves. Erin March blocked for five and Abby Golding served 9/10.
The Golden Eagles did not contribute any statistics for the match.
North Surry had a late finish with West Stokes in the semifinals Tuesday, and details were not available at that time. Here is the game summary.
West Stokes jumped out to an early lead, taking the first set 25-20.
“We had a really sluggish start, and West Stokes played tough the entire match,” said Slate.
“We contributed 13 points in set one on unforced errors to their cause, and they had momentum squarely in their favor at that point,” he said.
The Greyhounds’ big front line helped the team turn around in the second set for a 25-17 win to tie the match 1-1.
“We had a tough time getting everyone in a rhythm,” said Slate. “Fortunately, Kristina and Molly were sharp for the entire match. They had 30 kills in 78 swings and 31 digs in 34 attempts with only three errors.”
Martin led the Hounds with 20 digs, while Rumplasch added 11. Libero Maddison Hawks also contributed 15 digs.
Rumplasch led the attack with 16 kills, while Martin and Johnson added 14 each.
Culler set up the attacks with 41 assists.
Johnson led the team with seven blocks, while Erin March had six.
At the service line, Martin was 15-16 with two aces, Maddison Hawks 15-17 with four aces and Abby Golding 13-14 with two aces.
“Beating teams three times in a season is always tough, so we were happy to advance to the finals,” he said.