South and West Stokes entered the state volleyball playoffs as the number 19 seed in their respected divisions. Both teams beat a 14 seed on the road on Saturday, and then lost to number three seeds on Tuesday. The Sauras faced Northwest Conference foe, East Surry (25-2) for a third time this year and suffered the same fate as the regular season with a 3-0 loss. The Wildcats traveled to East Lincoln (24-5) in the 2A playoffs and also fell 3-0.
In the first 1A round on Saturday, South traveled to Highland School and faced the 20-4 Rams. The Lady Sauras jumped on the home team, winning the first set 25-14, the second set 25-19 and the third 25-22 for the sweep. South advanced to the second round of the state playoffs for the first time since 2015.
“We played well and with a lot of confidence,” said Saura coach Jayson Duncan. “We’re playing our best volleyball right now and that is what you want to be doing at the end of the year.”
On Tuesday, South traveled to Pilot Mountain and took on the number six ranked Cardinals. East Surry never trailed in the first set and won 25-14 behind Bethany Clayton’s five kills and two blocks. In set two, the Cardinals led and took a 25-13 win. In the last set, South began 2-1 before the Cards went on to score 10 straight points behind the serving of Sarah Marion. East Surry won the final set 25-12.
“I felt we played a little flat tonight and made a lot of errors,” said Duncan. “It’s been a good season and we finished 15-10, made it to the semi-finals of the conference tournament, and then finished third in a tough conference. We are young and have a lot to build on next year.”
South Stokes Lilly Weaver finished both games with 26 kills. Lydia Caudill added 15 kills and five blocks, and senior Mary Weaver tacked on 36 digs. Hailey Rothrock contributed 41 assists in the two games.
West Stokes falls in second round of playoffs
The Lady Wildcats were matched up against 14 seed East Gaston on Saturday. West Stokes beat the Warriors (16-6) 25-14, 25-22, 23-25, 25-19 and won the match 3-1.
“We mixed some things up and played really well,” said Wildcat coach Jordan Stevens. “We got Mackenzie Johnson back from an injury and she played well and gave us a spark. I thought Rachel (Delcamp) hit the ball hard and our back line put our hitters in position to hit the ball.”
On Tuesday, West traveled to East Lincoln and lost 3-0 to the Mustangs (24-5). Senior outside hitter Rachel Delcamp added her 1,000th career kill during the game.
The visitors lost set one 25-18, set two 25-21 and set three in a dominating performance by the home team 25-11.
“Rachel, Abigail (Gordon), and Mackenzie (Johnson) played well tonight,” Stevens said. “Our seniors set the foundation of this program and they set the bar high for players behind them. East Lincoln is a very good team and they were getting to balls that no one else would have got to this year. They are well coached and we wish them luck as they advance.”
Delcamp had 31 kills over the two games and Mackenzie Parker added 49 assists and 21 digs.
The Wildcats finished the season 19-8 overall with a third place finish in the Western Piedmont Athletic Conference. The ladies advanced to the second round of the state playoffs for the first time in more than a decade.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.