The fifth-ranked North Surry volleyball team uncharacteristically started slow in its second-round NCHSAA 2A state playoff showdown with Mountain Heritage High School.
The Lady Hounds dropped their first set against the third-place team in the Western Highlands Conference, but North Surry grinded its way to a narrow victory in set two and then controlled the rest of the match, advancing to Saturday’s third round of the tournament with a 22-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-21 victory in the Ron King Gym.
North Surry (24-4) hits the road for its Saturday evening match. The Lady Hounds will travel to North Wilkes, the champion of the Mountain Valley 2A, for a rematch of a regular-season tilt. North Surry hosted North Wilkes (21-5) on Sept. 7 and won in five sets, 25-8, 17-25, 25-17, 23-25, 15-3. The Lady Vikings are the 13th-ranked team in MaxPreps’ 2A rankings. They advanced to the third round with straight-set victories over Eastern Randolph and Bunker Hill, and hold the No. 2 seed in their portion of the West draw.
A high level of hitting errors hurt the Lady Hounds in their matting with Mountain Heritage. North Surry committed 17 attack errors, six receive errors, five service errors and two ball-handling miscues, all unusually high rates of mistakes for the Lady Hounds. However, they overcame this thanks to 10 kills each from Mikaela Johnson and Paige Sizemore, nine each from Whitney Hall and Kaylee Freed, 38 assists from Dixie Fulk, 10 service aces among six players, and an active defense that had 64 digs. Maggie Hawks had 19 of them and Sizemore another 15.