STANLY VOLLEYBALL: Colts, Comets reach third round of state playoffs

Published 2:42 pm Monday, October 31, 2022

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The volleyball teams of North Stanly and West Stanly both reached the third round of the 2A state playoffs last week.

Both teams played on the road and saw their respective seasons end with three-set losses.

Brevard 3, West Stanly 0

The Colts’ season ended Thursday in the third round to the No. 3 seeded Blue Devils (25-3) in straight sets with scores of 25-7, 25-16 and 25-21.

Stella Bondurant led West (22-7) with seven kills, adding four digs and two block assists. Saylor Edwards added six kills and a solo block, and Gracie Huneycutt, moving from defensive specialist to the front row, had six kills and seven digs.

Maycee Williams had 18 assists, nine digs and two aces, while Kelsey Parker had 13 digs.

“We went down two hitters after Tuesday night’s game due to injuries and illness,” West head coach Stephanie Dutton said. “These girls played so hard and pushed every single point.”

West graduates three seniors this season: Parker, Williams and Emma Rhodes.

The Colts also will lose their head coach Dutton, who said the past four seasons “have been nothing short of amazing. I have enjoyed watching this program grow and develop to become what it is today. Each year we pushed a little more and accomplished a little more each year.”

West has won four conference regular-season and tournament titles, having been undefeated in conference regular-season play over the same time. The Colts also have been to the third round of the state playoffs three years in a row, the furthest a West volleyball team has gone in the postseason.

“This past season has been something special,” Dutton said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had a group of girls fight as hard as they did. No matter how many injuries or illnesses were thrown at us at the end of the season, these girls fought so hard to overcome each obstacle. I’ve never had a group where every single girl was all in and willing to give every ounce for the girl beside them. This was a special group of young ladies who I will miss very much. They truly gave me 100 percent every day.”

The Colts also had in the past four seasons players reach 1,000 assists (Addie Barbee last season, Williams this year), 1,000 digs (Parker) and 1,000 kills (Kayli Cleaver last season).

“I’m so proud of all the teams I’ve coached,” Dutton said.

Southwestern Randolph 3, North Stanly 0

The Comets reached the third round this season, marking the first time North has been in the third round since the 2018 1A playoffs.

North Stanly, under first year head coach Daniel Galloway, finished third in the Yadkin Valley Conference.

North’s season ended Thursday on the road to the Cougars with of 25-9, 25-12 and 25-17 in favor of the No. 2-seeded Cougars.

Shalyn Bell led North (15-11) with 10 kills while Aniston Talbert added seven kills. Kylie Speight led North with 12 assists.

“We ran into an excellent team, with the best defense we have seen all year,” Galloway said. “We were not able to get our offense running as efficiently as usual. I’m proud of how hard our team worked this year and what we were able to accomplish this season.”

North graduates several seniors this season, including Josie Talbert, Lauren Lowder, Avery Morris, Neely Ramantanin and Carolyn Vanhoy.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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