DAVIDSON — This time, the shoe was on the other foot for East Surry’s volleyball team.
Two days after keeping their season alive by holding off a spirited comeback from their opponent in a playoff battle of top 10 teams, it was the Lady Cardinals’ turn to try to do the same.
Host Community School of Davidson, the state’s second-ranked 1A team according to MaxPreps.com, defeated East Surry in each of the first two sets of their third-round playoff showdown on Saturday. The Lady Cardinals battled back to win the third and seemed to be in a good position to also take the fourth, but eventually came up short in a 25-21, 25-18, 24-26, 27-25 loss that advanced CSD into the state quarterfinals.
East Surry, the regular-season and conference tournament champion of the Northwest 1A Conference, ended its season at 24-5. The Lady Cardinals had reached the match by defeating Highland Tech and then Murphy in the first two rounds of the tournament. In the meeting with fourth-ranked Murphy, East Surry won the first two sets easily, then lost the next two, and had to pull out a fifth-set victory in order to move on. However, the Spartans (25-1) got to host on Saturday due to having a better overall record.
The Lady Cardinals bid farewell to seniors Bryce Smith, Cameron Sloop, Elise Hayes and Kendall Beck. All four competed for East Surry the past two seasons, in which the team won 42 matches, the 2015 and 2016 NW1A tournament titles, and the 2016 regular-season title as well. Sloop played for the varsity team as a sophomore as well, when the Lady Cardinals went 29-2 and reached the state finals.
However, the 5’9” outside hitter saved some of the best volleyball of her career for last. Two days after a fantastic effort that was crucial to East Surry’s win over Murphy, Sloop posted 14 kills, 17 digs and four aces against CSD. In the last two matches of her career, against Murphy and the Spartans, she posted the two highest kill totals of her East Surry career, with 19 and then 14, and finished the season with 229 kills and 321 assists.
Beck added five kills and six blocks, while Maggie Holt had just the opposite totals, six kills and five blocks. Morgan Smith added 32 digs, and Bethany Clayton posted totals of 36 assists and four blocks. Clayton ended her season with 823 assists and 133 kills.