The North Surry volleyball team rounded into form in the third and fourth sets of its third round NCHSAA 2A playoff matchup against Hendersonville, but the Lady Hounds couldn’t quite make up for a sluggish start.
The Bearcats used quality serves and exceptional defense to blitz North Surry and take the first two sets of the match. A bounce-back win allowed North Surry to avoid the sweep, but Hendersonville used a late rally in the fourth set to eliminate the Greyhounds with a 3-1 win.
“We did way too much to help them,” Hounds coach Shane Slate said. “It’s alright to get beat, but you don’t want to beat yourself as the saying goes, and I thought we did too much of that. When you get in the third round of the state playoffs, you don’t play bad teams.”
Hendersonville gave up the first point of the match, but the Bearcats were otherwise in complete control of the first set. North Surry struggled to supply setter Dixie Fulk with clean first-passes and fell out of system throughout the opener.
An early 10-5 lead for Hendersonville blossomed into a 20-13 advantage. A late run from North Surry that included three kills from Tyra Galloway cut the deficit to two, but the Bearcats finished it off with a kill from Savanna Roper and a 25-22 win.
North Surry jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the second set, but couldn’t maintain this early momentum. Hendersonville consistently got its first pass right into the path of one of its two setters and produced some easy looks at the net in a 23-10 run and a 25-17 set two win.
“As long as we were in system and able to attack… they had a hard time with us. We just needed a little more offensively to help us, and I think we found that after the second set,” Slate said.
North Surry looked like a completely different team in the final two sets, and one of the reasons was junior Whitney Hall.
Slate gave Hall her first extended minutes in the third set, and her athleticism at the net opened up the door for the entire offense. She only finished with five kills, but her presence gave Galloway and Mikaela Johnson ample easy looks.
“We tried to get better offensively,” Slate said explaining the move to bring Hall in.
The Lady Hounds erased an early 0-3 deficit and seized some momentum when Galloway record four consecutive aces to give North a 9-5 lead. It was Hendersonville’s turn to struggle in the serve-receive department, and the Greyhounds capitalized with a 25-14 win.
Galloway had a monster third set, notching six of her team-high 16 kills.
North Surry had chances throughout the fourth set to force a decisive final frame, but the Hounds couldn’t put the Bearcats away. North led for the entire set, including a 15-9 lead, until the final two points.
Cyrena Bedoian was Hendersonville’s best server throughout the match, and a four-point run with Bedoian launching the initial ball cut the Lady Hounds’ lead to 18-17 in the fourth set. Eventually, Hendersonville tied the frame at 22.
The teams exchanged points four times, and Johnson had two open looks at set-point to give North Surry the win. However, she couldn’t find the right positioning on her leaps at the net and both attacks fell harmlessly wide.
At 26-26, Bedoian once again lined up to serve and proved to be the difference. Her first serve got North Surry out of system and led to a kill from Victoria Schandevel, and her second was an ace that hit the ground in front of the Lady Hounds’ back line for the win.
North Surry finishes the season at 21-8 overall. The Lady Hounds will return all 13 ladies on the varsity roster next season.
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16