PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry nipped Bishop McGuinness by just two points in all three sets to advance in the conference volleyball tournament.
The Lady Cardinals, the third seed in the Northwest, hosted the Lady Villains Monday. By winning, the Cards advance to face second-seeded Surry Central in the semifinals tonight at North Stokes. The Lady Vikings are the host school for both the semifinals today and the finals tomorrow.
“Bishop came out with a lot of energy, and we just went through the motions,” said East Coach Caleb Gilley.
He admitted that his team may have overlooked the visitors since it beat the Villains by an average of seven points per set in a 3-0 sweep just four days earlier.
In each of the first two sets, the Cards jumped out to 5-1 leads only to see Bishop come back to take a sizable lead itself.
Bishop went up seven or eight points in each game before the Cards rallied, Gilley said.
“When we needed to play good, we played really good,” he said.
Middle hitter Keri Fulp led the team with 21 kills, but when it seemed like the team needed a play, it was Kacie Markle who came through, believed the coach.
Markle finished with seven kills and three blocks, and they all were timely, according to Gilley.
Another player who stepped up was Ashley Smith. The senior has been struggling with her self-confidence lately, but she played well Monday, he noted.
She posted six assists and four blocks. She only had three kills, but she made several aggressive swings that forced Bishop to respond on defense, he described.
The Cards needed a few extra plays to finish the two sets, going into overtime for 27-25 and 26-24 wins.
In the third set, East Surry held about an eight-point lead much of the way until Bishop rallied late. From 23-16, the Villains ran off a 7-1 spurt to close to 24-23 before East won on the next point.
Sydney Mosley led East with 16 digs and added three kills. Olivia Sheets had 32 assists, 13 digs, four aces and two kills.
Destiny Edmonds posted four kills and five digs.
In addition to her kills, Fulp had eight blocks and two aces.
East Surry faces Surry Central at 6 p.m. today.
Gilley said his team needs to come out ready to play from the opening serve because the Eagles are a very good team.
The Cards and Eagles split their two regular-season meetings.