Lady Hounds edge Eagles in semifinals
by Jeff Linville Staff Reporter
EAST BEND — North Surry volleyball beat Surry Central to reach the final of the Western Piedmont Conference Tournament.
The Lady Eagles again pushed the top dog to the limit, but the Lady Greyhounds pulled out the fifth set to advance to face West Stokes tonight for the championship.
In their last match, the Eagles came within a point of beating the Hounds before falling. This time, the underdogs held a 2-1 advantage before North Surry stepped up its game.
The Hounds won the first set 25-14, but Central responded with a 25-22 set to tie the match. A 25-23 win pushed the Eagles ahead, but North answered 25-10 and then 15-10.
When the players were in good defensive position and when they took care of the ball, the team played well, said North Coach Shane Slate.
“When the team didn’t do those two things, Central took advantage of it,” he added.
When the Eagles were up 2-1, Slate said he told his team what he saw that needed correcting.
“I said if we didn’t start taking better care of the ball, then we wouldn’t be back here tomorrow playing for the championship,” he said.
As for the losing team, Central Coach Carrie Hutchens said, “Honestly, we really played a good match all the way around. The girls, they left it all on the court. It was one of the best matches we’ve had all season.”
Two points Hutchens has emphasized this season, communication and movement, were on display.
There were long rallies, and the Eagles won a fair share of those, she said.
“We get a lot of teams’ best shot, and that’s okay,” said Slate. “That’s what I want,” he said, as the tight matches better prepare his team for the playoffs.
North Surry will play West Stokes at Forbush at 6 p.m.
The Hounds also have locked up a spot in the 2A state playoffs and will look to defend their crown.
Slate said he won’t know any matchups until Thursday.
Hutchens said she doesn’t know if Surry Central will receive a wild card into the 2A state playoffs, but she is going to continue under the assumption that it will.
If this was the last match of the season, then Hutchens is proud the Eagles went down swinging.
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