TRINITY — Something had to give when North Surry visited Wheatmore in the third round of the NCHSAA 2A state playoffs on Tuesday evening.
Coming into the match, neither team had lost to another 2A school all season. The Lady Warriors, who have been the state’s top-ranked 2A team according to MaxPreps.com for several weeks, hadn’t lost to anyone at all, and came into the match with a perfect 26-0 mark. The Lady Greyhounds lost to four 4A schools earlier in the season and entered the match at 25-4.
For two sets, the two teams were even, but the host school pulled out wins in each of the last two sets and brought an end to the season for North Surry, which has won eight Western Piedmont Athletic Conference and two state championships in the past eight seasons.
The loss ended the North Surry volleyball careers of seniors Cidney Fulk, Whitney Hall, Kaylee Freed, Arin Bunker, Anna Martin and Maggie Hawks. The Lady Hounds posted a composite 96-21 record during their four years in the program, with Hawks a four-year varsity starter.
In the match, Wheatmore rolled to a 25-11 win in the opening set, but North bounced back and took the second one 25-20, which was only the second set lost by the Lady Warriors all season, and the other was to a very strong 4A team. The hosts then won the third set fairly convincingly, and it came down to a fourth set in which the Lady Hounds led much of the way, but let momentum slip away from them.
Needing the set win to push the match into a 15-point fifth set, North built a five point lead and held it all the way to 17-12 before Wheatmore ended the match with 13 scores in the last 16 points, including seven in a row at one point, to prevail 25-11, 20-25, 25-12, 25-20.
Mikaela Johnson and Paige Sizemore tied for the team lead in kills with eight each. Bunker and Martha Holt each added five. Hawks had 20 digs and Dixie Fulk 29 assists. Sizemore and Dixie Fulk also had eight digs each. Freed added two blocks to go along with her four kills.
Having knocked out No. 4-ranked North Surry, Wheatmore (27-0) will host No. 3 Maiden (29-0) this evening.