The North Stokes Vikings hosted the Cougars from Patrick County, just across the state line, in a non-conference volleyball match on Thursday in Danbury. Both teams appeared to be evenly matched, but the Cougars took advantage of several miscues by the Vikings and won 3-0.
“We missed a lot of serves tonight and that hurt us,” said Christine Condon, the Vikings coach. “We need to focus on our serve receive and it’s essential we get that first ball kill to get us being the aggressors rather than chasing.”
In the first set, Patrick County held an 8-3 advantage and extended their lead to seven points on several occasions. The Vikings fought back and closed the game to three points at 18-15 and 23-20. The Cougars tallied the last two points of the set on an unforced error by the Vikings and a kill to win 25-20.
The Vikings kept game two close with seven ties and two leads in the set before losing 25-22.
“We are a very good team,” Condon said. “I look forward to the girls fixing a couple of small errors so we can finish games. They are definitely talented enough to go far this season.”
In game three, the Vikings fell behind 11-5 forcing Condon to call a timeout. After the break, the Vikings closed the gap and tied the game at 13 and then took a two point lead on a block from Meredith Rasey and Jayden Manuel. The Cougars took a timeout themselves and then scored six out of the next seven points to take a 19-16 lead causing Condon to take her last timeout of the set. North cut the lead to 20-19 and 23-22 before the Cougars scored the last two points of the game winning 25-22.
Leann Sessoms led the team with nine assists and seven kills. Rasey added five kills and three blocks for the Vikings.
“Leann is a true joy to coach,” the coach said. “She listens to every suggestion and does her best to put it into play. She is a strong hitter and smart with her sets. Meredith has the best hitting percentage on the team and knows when to swing away and when a soft touch is needed.”
The Vikings fell to 2-8 overall and will host Bishop McGuinness (4-6) in their first conference match of the season on Tuesday at 6 p.m.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.