The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Local Sports

October 17, 2013

YVC West Volleyball Tournament Notebook

Albemarle volleyball tops Gray Stone for 2013 YVC West title

Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 — The first-ever Yadkin Valley Conference West volleyball tournament was conducted this week at new YVC member North Stanly.

After two epic five-set battles in the semifinals Tuesday, Albemarle and Gray Stone met in the tournament finals on Wednesday.

Wednesday’s Matches

Albemarle 3

Gray Stone 0

The Albemarle Bulldogs volleyball squad has had a long string of recent success in the Yadkin Valley Conference postseason volleyball tournaments.

This season, in the new YVC West, the Bulldogs made it four conference tourney titles in five seasons with a 3-0 win over Gray Stone in the finals Wednesday.

Scores of the match were 30-28, 25-23 and 25-13.

Senior outside hitter Akela Branch had a huge night for the Bulldogs (20-2) with 26 kills and six digs, while the team’s other senior, Samantha Blue, added nine kills and four digs. Libero Caroline Snyder led Albemarle with 10 digs and setter Morgan Smet had a big night with a team-high 34 assists.

The win also breaks a tie for the No. 1 seed from the YVC-West into the state 1A playoff as the Bulldogs and Knights finished with identical 7-1 records and had split their regular-season games in 2013.

Bulldogs head coach Joanne McConlogue said that she was proud of  the efforts of her two seniors, Branch and Blue, saying that “I could see their emotional change; they wanted this today.”

McConlogue talked about winning the YVC West tourney title with her young team this year.

“They are so young that they don’t know what it’s like to get this kind of victory. It’s not just about winning but what it feels like to win.”

Albemarle will now host Chatham Central in the opening round of the 1A state playoffs on Saturday.

For Gray Stone (16-2), the Knights will have the No. 2 seed from the YVC West and will host Bishop McGuinness on Saturday at 4 p.m.

North Stanly 3

South Stanly 2

Before the finals Wednesday, the Bulls and Comets staged a play-in game for the third and final guaranteed seed into the state playoffs.

In what would be the third five-set match in a row played in the Comets’ gym, North earned that berth into the playoffs with a 3-2 win over South.

The Comets will be on the road to take on East Surry in the opening round of the 1A playoffs Saturday.

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