Lady Cards sweep North Stanly, advance in 1A playoffs
by Jeff Linville Staff Reporter
PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry swept North Stanly 3-0 in the first round of the state 1A volleyball playoffs.
The Lady Cardinals showed their strength early with a 25-9 first set.
Coach Caleb Gilley said he didn’t know anything about North Stanly (12-9 coming in), so he wanted his team to focus on taking care of their own responsibilities and not worry about what the Lady Comets wanted to do.
Gilley was concerned that his team would come out sluggish after the late night Friday with the homecoming game and dance.
Instead, he said, “I thought we played pretty well for the most part.”
“Our serving took them out of their system very early,” said the coach. The Comets sent a lot of free balls back over the net.
The Cards took advantage of those chances with an efficient offense.
“All of our hitters had a high hitting percentage,” he said.
In the second set, East Surry held a slim 8-6 lead before erupting for a 13-2 run. The Cards coasted to a 25-14 set.
The third set was tied at one, two, three, four and five before East went on a 5-1 spurt and a 10-6 lead.
Cheyenne Kota would serve the Cards to six straight points for a 20-9 lead, and East won the final set 25-18.
Kota finished with a team-high six aces to go with five kills and three blocks.
Kacie Markle and Kristel Hicinbothem had eight kills each, and Gabi Jessup and Jessi Marion six each.
Marion posted five blocks and Jessup two.
Olivia Sheets had 27 assists and five digs.
Sydney Mosley led the team with 12 digs. Hicinbothem had six digs, and Marion and Markle five each.
Next up for East Surry is a trip Tuesday evening to Starmount, which beat Mount Airy on Saturday.
Starmount had been an annual thorn in the side of North Surry in the 2A state playoffs. With the realignment, the Lady Rams are in the 1A playoffs.
“Starmount’s kids are always very disciplined,” said Gilley. “Everybody in the area is always striving to be on the same level as North Surry and Starmount. Hopefully, we will go over there and give them our best shot.”
Gilley said he hadn’t coordinated yet with Starmount on a start time for Tuesday’s match.
In other 1A action, North Stokes swept Walkertown 3-0. The Lady Vikings will host Alleghany, which beat North Moore 3-0.
Bishop McGuinness pulled off a mild upset, a third seed beating second-seeded Gray Stone Day. The Lady Villains will travel to West Montgomery next.
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