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Bears sweep Hounds to win 5th straight

Mount Airy continued its undefeated September campaign by sweeping North Surry on Tuesday.

The Granite Bears led by double digits in all three sets in the rematch from two weeks earlier. Both squads went on 9-0 runs at one point in the match, but only Mount Airy was able to come away with a set victory.

Set scores of 26-24, 25-8 and 25-14 lifted the visiting Bears to their fifth-consecutive win of the season and third-consecutive sweep.

The turning point for Mount Airy’s season was its initial match against North Surry on Aug. 29. North came away with the win in that match 3-0, bumping Mount Airy to a 1-3 overall record.

The Bears (6-3) have not lost a match since.

Mount Airy followed the first North Surry match with back-to-back five-set victories over East Wilkes and South Stokes. The Granite City girls then posted consecutive sweeps over Starmount and North Stokes, which moved them to 4-0 in the Northwest 1A Conference.

North Surry had a chance to win its third straight match on Tuesday. The Greyhounds (5-6) have been up and down in 2022, never winning more than back-to-back matches but also not losing more than two straight.

North also opened conference play after the Aug. 29 match at Mount Airy. The Hounds dropped matches to Wilkes Central and East Surry as they began Foothills 2A Conference competition, but then won consecutive matches over Forbush and West Wilkes.

Mount Airy looked like it would run away with the match early by taking a 23-13 lead in the first set. Kills from Callie Robertson and Haylee Smith cut into Mount Airy’s lead, but a service error from North put the visitors within a point of winning.

What followed was a complete turnaround for the Greyhounds. Smith served the next nine points as North won rally after rally, slowing closing the nearly-10 point gap. Most of the rallies saw multiple exchanges instead of ending quickly.

The teams were tied up 24-24 when a Greyhound attack sailed behind the baseline. Granite Bear senior Kennedy Gwyn put away the next rally with a kill to lift Mount Airy to the 26-24 win.

The Bears carried momentum over to the second set with a 6-0 start. The Hounds responded with kills from Ella Riggs and Aniya Joyce, as well as an ace from Riggs, but then Mount Airy scored 10 of the next 11 points.

Southpaw Alissa Clabo led the Bears’ offense with kill-after-kill set up by Kinlee Reece. North Surry, however, struggled to get its offense going at all and only had two kills in the entire second set. Mount Airy cruised to a 25-8 set victory to go up 2-0.

Neither school could score back-to-back points early in the third set. The teams were tied at every number through six until North went on a 4-0 run beginning with a Sadie Badgett kill. Joyce added a block and a kill as the Hounds rallied behind Smith’s serving, going up 9-6.

Consecutive service errors left North Surry with an 11-8 lead. An attack error by the Hounds put the ball in Morgan Mayfield’s hands, and this served as the final momentum shift of the match.

Mayfield led off with an ace on a run of four-consecutive points in which North Surry failed to return her serve. The Hounds followed with three attack errors, then a Clabo kill capped off the 9-0 run.

Mount Airy closed the third set with a 17-3 run to pick up the sweep.

Both teams continue conference play on Sept. 15. North Surry will travel to Surry Central, and Mount Airy goes on the road to face Elkin.



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