Three of the area’s top volleyball teams tangled at Sand Rock in a tune-up for their respective area tournaments. They battled each other closely, resulting in a split for all three.
In the first match of the day, the Class 4A, No. 8 Lady Warriors (25-14) defeated Class 2A, No. 8 Sand Rock (25-16) in two games, 25-17, 25-17. Then, Class 1A, No. 7 Gaston (29-16) downed Cherokee County in three games 25-22, 11-25, 15-11.
Sand Rock outlasted the Lady Bulldogs in the nightcap, 25-15, 23-25, 17-15.
All that, plus it was senior night for Sand Rock’s Chasitie Goza and Katie Pearson.
“I was proud they could pull that off for them,” Sand Rock coach Lisa Bates said. “To come back and get that win (against Gaston), that was good for us.
“At the end when it was tight, I was glad we didn’t start to just get nervous and tipping. We still swung hard. That’s a good step for us, be aggressive when the game’s tight and not getting scared to lose. We were aggressive at the end. I’m glad we pulled that one out.”
Especially heading into Monday’s area tournament. The Lady Wildcats will open the Class 2A, Area 11 tournament against Pleasant Valley at West End-Walnut Grove at 5:30 p.m.
Cherokee County opens the Class 4A, Area 10 at Jacksonville on Tuesday. The Lady Warriors are scheduled to play Alexandria. Times have not been set as of this posting.
“Anything can happen next Monday,” Bates said. “I hope my team shows up. We’ve been showing up more than not lately, so that’s a good thing. Monday, our area is going to be real tight. They’re going to be tight matches like that. It’s going to be an interesting day.”
Leading the Lady Wildcats on Tuesday was Kelsey Hayes, who posted 16 kills. Amber Ashley added 15 kills. Goza contributed 21 digs and 12 kills. Ashley Norris had 42 assists. Katie Pearson tallied 37 digs. Hannah Oliver finished with 19 digs and three aces.
Madison Millsaps led Cherokee County with 16 kills, two blocks and two aces. Candace Blanchard came away with 16 kills. Kristen Abney tallied 32 digs and three aces. Audra Bradley had 30 digs and two aces. Allyson Curry finished with 39 assists.