VOLLEYBALL NOTEBOOK: Comets fall at home; Colts, Knights lose on the road

Published 3:37 pm Friday, October 27, 2023

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In third round state playoffs volleyball games Thursday, North Stanly hosted the McMichael Phoenix while West Stanly was at Southwestern Randolph and Gray Stone traveled to Highland Tech

2A Playoffs

McMichael 3, North Stanly 0

The Comets had only lost the first set of a match this season two times heading into Thursday’s home playoff matchup. One came in a loss to 4A Reagan, ranked third in the 4A West, and the other to Union Academy in a 3-1 win for North.

In Thursday’s matchup, the Comets lost in the first set and were swept three straight for only the second time all season. Scores of the match were 25-15, 25-21 and 25-18.

“We were definitely in the last two sets,” North Stanly head coach Daniel Galloway said. “Our girls fought hard; we played good volleyball.”

Galloway said North ran into a good defensive team in the Phoenix (29-6), the defending 2A state champions.

“They are the strongest block we’ve seen and their back row was playing good defense behind us,” Galloway said. “Obviously, our offense was not operating as efficiently as usual, but we were still in (the last two sets) with chances. That is a very high energy team, bringing it to the gym.”

The loss completes the season for North (27-2) with the most wins in a volleyball season in school history, including a 25-game win streak before the loss in the playoffs.

North graduates four seniors from this team: Aniston Talbert, Caroline Mauldin, Ila Loflin and Mallori Whitman.

Southwesrtern Randolph 3, West Stanly 1

West (23-6) battled back from losing the first set to tie the match 1-1, but lost the final two sets Thursday.

Scores of the match were 25-13, 24-26, 25-15 and 25-22 in favor of the Cougars (25-4).

West’s season wrapped up with the Colts winning the Rocky River Conference regular-season and tournament titles.

The Colts graduate one senior from this year’s squad in Gracie Huneycutt.

1A Playoffs

Highland Tech 3, Gray Stone 0

The Knights’ season ended on the road Thursday with scores of 25-15,25-13 and 25-10 in favor of the host Rams (28-2).

Gray Stone (18-6) made it to the third round for the second time in three seasons.

The Knights graduate Hailey Dry, Peyton Lewis, Aniston Belk and Kaylee Thompson from this team.

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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