DANBURY — After watching his team take two sets in convincing fashion, head volleyball coach Jordan Stevens of West Stokes was forced to use a timeout early in the third set.
The Lady Wildcats took the message to heart.
West regrouped after an early deficit and put the finishing touches on a 3-0 sweep against visiting Surry Central on Tuesday night in King.
The Wildcats won 25-13, 25-19, 25-21 and improved to 11-5 overall and 4-2 in the Western Piedmont 2A Conference.
“I felt like that third set, we lost focus and we weren’t playing to our ability like we did the first and second,” Stevens said. “We just re-gathered our focus, came out and took care of business.”
Rachel Delcamp, a junior outside hitter, paced West with 18 hills and Mackenzie Johnson, a sophomore middle blocker, finished with nine kills. Junior libero Abigail Gordon recored 33 digs on the evening.
In the opening set, the Wildcats got out to an early lead and kept the Eagles at arm’s length. Johnson blocked a kill attempt to put West up 20-12 and force a Central timeout. Delcamp would later close out the set with a point for the Wildcats.
With Madeline Newsome serving, West reeled off eight straight points to go ahead 19-11 in the second set. Sarah Ford got a point for the Eagles to end the run. But Johnson had a big kill and a block and Delcamp finished out the set with another kill to give West a two-set advantage.
“I felt like our middles did a much better job of getting involved in the offense, which freed up our big arm on the outside,” Stevens said. “Mackenzie Johnson played extremely well and stepped up for us tonight, which was part of the reason why we were so successful. Abigail on the back row, was just everywhere for the ball. She even went in the bleachers. She’s just a go-getter.”
Central (3-12 overall, 1-3 WPC) tried to avoid the sweep — going ahead 7-6 early in the third set. West wasn’t communicating well in the opening minutes and Stevens called a timeout to get his players’ attention.
The Wildcats broke open a 14-14 game with a 5-0 run sparked by a couple of big kills from Delcamp. Taylor Coe recorded a point to get the Eagles to within 23-21, but Johnson finished things off with two straight kills to close things out.
With the victory, West kept pace with North Surry and Forbush in the conference standings. The Wildcats play the Greyhounds on Thursday and take on South Stokes Monday night. The Greyhounds, a perennial 2A volleyball power, improved to 11-4 after sweeping the Falcons on Tuesday.
“We are hosting the conference tournament this year, so we would really like to be in that 1 or 2 spot, whichever one we can get,” Stevens said.