DOBSON — The Lady Eagles hit the ball harder, but couldn’t pull out a win against Alleghany.
Surry Central lost on back-to-back days, but looked better on offense than the day before.
Against West Forsyth, the players looked out of sync with each other, said coach Carrie Hutchens.
Against the Lady Trojans, the Eagles had more swings at the net, but found it hard to reach the floor against a solid back line.
Hutchens said her team had 116 hits at the net and only 25 kills as Alleghany posted a whopping 80 digs in just three sets.
Several times in the match, the Eagles had two and three cracks at scoring, but the Trojans kept the rally alive.
The home team led in the first set up to 18-all, noted Hutchens, then Alleghany pulled ahead to win 25-23.
Despite the good start, it was still the fourth time in five matches that Central lost in the first set.
After a close one, it looked like the second set might not be close at all.
Alleghany jumped out to an 8-1 lead before Hutchens called a timeout.
Central scored six straight points to make it 8-7, but when Alleghany won the next point, the score was given to the wrong team on the scoreboard. The problem wasn’t corrected right away, and it looked like Central had taken the lead when actually the Eagles were down 11-9.
After a long break with both coaches and both officials at the scoring table, play finally resumed.
Central won the next point, but then gave up seven straight to trail 17-10. The team clawed closer to 18-14, but Alleghany took the next four points. The Trojans led 24-16, then Central scored four points to make it closer before losing 25-20.
Alleghany led 6-2 in the third set, but Central fought back and eventually took a 12-10 lead.
The Trojans retook the lead and was up 18-17 before taking four of the next five points to draw a Central timeout.
The Eagles couldn’t close the gap, and Alleghany finished the night with back-to-back stuff blocks.
This was a much better effort than the first meeting with Alleghany, noted Hutchens.
The Eagles took 47 points in that 3-0 loss, but improved to 63 points in this one.
There were still a lot of little errors that gave away too many points like bumping the net or not closing the hands together when jumping up for a block, the coach said. The ball control could have been better.
Still, this was a very tough opponent. In its previous two matches, the Trojans blanked East Surry 3-0 and beat North Surry 3-1.
The girls gave a lot of effort, diving all over the floor, she said. Jess Fowler and Madison Robertson had 20 digs each, and Ashlynn Jewell had 19.
The blocks got better as the game went on, and Taylor Coe had two big stuffs to go with a couple of kills, she noted.
Jewell led the team with nine kills, while Fowler and Ema Coe had six each.
The serving accuracy was better than against West Forsyth, Hutchens said. Sarah Ford was a perfect 16-16 with two aces, and Jess went 17-18.
Hutchens said she was disappointed with her team’s performance on Tuesday, but saw a lot of positives she could take away from this match.
• The day earlier, Alleghany avenged a loss to North Surry with a 3-1 win at home.
North coach Shane Slate said a day earlier that he expected it to be a loud environment for his team because Alleghany is good and has a solid fan base.
Alleghany won the first set 25-23, then the Lady Greyhounds answered with a 25-18 set to tie it 1-1.
Then Alleghany pulled away with 25-23 and 25-21 sets.
“I thought we did a lot of things well tonight to stay in a hard-fought match,” said Slate. “We just needed to make one or two more routine plays to turn those close sets in our favor.”
The Hounds already were down a hitter with Mikaela Johnson suffering an ankle injury recently. Then they saw another player go down in this match.
“I was particularly pleased to see us deal with adversity when Dixie (Fulk) tweaked an ankle in the second set,” he said, “by scrambling to stay in the match without a setter on the floor until she could shake it off.
“We served the ball the best of the season with less errors and more serves that kept them out of system.”
Slate said Anna Martin (12 kills) and Tyra Galloway (11 kills) were efficient with their spikes.
“Anna hit .276 and Tyra .333 to give our offense a boost. We more dominant with our blocking in stretches tonight to take some pressure off our defense and score us some points as well.”