North Surry split its two matches Saturday between McMichael and Starmount.
The Lady Rams won both of their games, coming from a set down to beat the host Greyhounds.
Both North Surry and Starmount beat McMichael in straight sets. Then they faced off in the afternoon.
North took the first two sets comfortably against McMichael 25-15 and 25-18, then rotated in some bench players to keep the starters fresh. The third set was closer at 25-21.
The Hounds then had a chance to rest while the Rams played.
North Surry started with a 4-1 burst, but the Rams tied the score at 5-all. The Hounds would build a 14-10 lead, but the Rams came back with a 9-3 spurt to take a two-point lead.
With Starmount ahead 21-19, the Hounds took six of the last seven points for a 25-22 win.
In the second set, the score went from 2-2 to 6-2 for the Rams, drawing a timeout from Coach Shane Slate. He called another at 15-9, but the Hounds could never catch up in a 25-19 loss that evened the match 1-1.
In the third game, it was North that built a 14-10 lead, earning a timeout from Starmount Coach Jon Symons.
Later, three straight points would tie the game at 18-all. Then from a 20-all tie, the Rams pulled away for a 25-21 win.
Facing elimination, the Hounds came out with a bang, going up 4-1 and then 8-3.
However, Starmount would go on a 15-7 run to take an 18-15 lead. The Rams would go on to finish the match with a 25-20 set.
“We were able to use our size to beat McMichael in the first match,” said Slate.
The 5-foot-11 Kristina Rumplasch had 13 kills, and 6-foot-2 Malaya Johnson had six. Johnson had eight blocks, while Rumplasch and 5-foot-11 Erin March had seven each.
Johnson also led the team at the service line, going 14-15 with one ace.
Bailey Culler had 22 assists, and Maddison Hawks led the defense with 15 digs.
In the second game, “Our tendency to be unfocused finally caught up with us in the Starmount match,” said Slate.
“We made too many ball-handling mistakes and mental errors to beat a good team,” he said. “Hopefully we will learn from this.”
The Greyhounds won the state title in 2009, then Starmount won it in 2010 with sophomore Ashton Gregory winning MVP.
Behind Gregory (now a senior), not only could Starmount match the Hounds in striking velocity, but the Rams also found holes in the defense to tip balls to the floor.
Molly Martin had a strong performance for the Hounds. She had 10 kills, 16 digs and went 11-11 at the line with an ace.
Johnson had 11 kills and seven blocks. Rumplasch posted seven kills, four blocks and 11-12 at the line with two aces.
Hawks provided 13 digs and Taylor Hill 11. Culler passed out 28 assists.
The loss drops the Hounds to 14-1, 8-0 in the Northwest Conference.
Starmount improved to 15-3, with two losses to 3A Carson and one to 4A Reagan.