South Stokes volleyball opened their 2018 season against 3A powerhouse McMichael Phoenix in a non-conference game on Tuesday night in Walnut Cove. The Sauras dropped a close first match and continued on to a 3-0 loss.
“I thought we did well tonight against a really good team,” said Saura coach Jayson Duncan. “We had a few bad breaks that could have changed the outlook of the game. I’m really proud of the girls and we have a lot of potential this year. We need to continue to keep working hard.”
The Lady Sauras took a 3-1 advantage in the first game, but the Phoenix came roaring back with four straight points and eventually stretched it to 18-9. Hailey Rothrock and Lydia Caudill helped the Sauras battle back to within three points before McMichael won 25-17.
During game two, both teams competed and were never separated by more than two points until McMichael extended their advantage to 24-18 and eventually a 25-20 victory behind Cassie Tanton’s five kills. Caudill and fellow senior Lilly Weaver kept the home team within reach with multiple kills by the two athletes.
The Sauras continued on in game three, but the visitors were too dominate and shot to a 5-0 lead behind the serves of Kenzie Cook. McMichael pressured South to a 25-15 win.
“I’m not much on moral victories, but I’m happy with our effort and the way we played,” Duncan said. “We need to learn from our mistakes and move on.”
Caudill led the Sauras with 13 kills and Weaver added nine. Rothrock collected 20 assists and Macy Nelson recorded 10 digs. Tanton added 10 kills to pace the Phoenix.
South Stokes (0-1) will travel to McMichael (1-0) on Saturday for a tournament of round robin play.
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.