Non-conference rivals, West and South Stokes met on the volleyball court for a final time this season and the Wildcats sprinted to a 2-0 lead in the first two games and then held off the Sauras by winning the match 3-1 in King.
“I was really happy with our effort and the way we played in the first two games,” said West Stokes coach Jordan Stevens. “We stopped communicating and got lazy with the ball in the third set, but South didn’t back down or quit. They competed hard and had their chances in the fourth set to win. We just need to work on completing games and not get complacent.”
The Wildcats jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the first set only to see the Sauras fight back and cut the score 9-8. West went on a 10-1 run with the help of Madison Upchurch, Rachel Delcamp and Blakeleigh Goldbach’s kills that were set up by Mackenzie Parker to extend their lead to 19-9. The Wildcat lead never dropped below nine the rest of the way and they won 25-16 in the first game.
In game two, the Sauras scored the first point of the set and led 6-5 before the Wildcats extended their lead to 13-6 on seven straight points. South cut the deficit back to four at 14-10 and then West won 25-17 for a two game advantage in the best of five.
West hoped to close the match out in game three, but the Sauras had other plans. The score was never more than a two-point lead for either team until South went ahead 18-15. They extended their advantage 21-15 only to see the Wildcats fight back and cut it to 22-21. The Sauras scored four straight points behind an ace by Lydia Caudill, two unforced errors by the Cats, and a block by Chloe Stewart, ending the game 25-21 in the maroon and gold’s favor.
“We fought really hard to stay in the game and I’m proud of the girls,” said Lady Sauras coach Jayson Duncan. “West is one of the better teams we have played this season and they have a special group of seniors.”
South took a 10-3 lead in the fourth match, but West battled back on their home court. The purple team finished the game on a 9-2 run and won 25-19 to win the match.
West Stokes Rachel Delcamp led the team with 20 kills and 20 digs. Mackenzie Parker added 39 assists and seven kills, Abigail Gordon had 24 digs and three aces. For the Sauras, Hailey Rothrock contributed 25 assists, Lilly Weaver had 17 kills, and Stewart added four blocks.
“I thought Rachel did a better job tonight along with Mackenzie,” said Stevens. “Mackenzie started finding the middle of the floor and it helped us pull away. We need others on the team to start contributing in order for us to get better and have a chance at a conference title.”
The Wildcats improve their record to 8-1 overall and the Sauras dropped to 6-4.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.