DOBSON — Surry Central won its fifth-straight match by defeating county foe North Surry on Oct. 12.
The Foothills 2A Conference opponents battled in the first set, with Central overcoming a North Surry lead late to win 25-23. The Golden Eagles carried momentum into the next two sets and only gave up a combined 25 points the rest of the match to sweep the Greyhounds.
A win by East Surry over West Wilkes solidified the top three spots in the FH2A regular season standings. The Cardinals secured the FH2A Regular Season Championship, West Wilkes took second and Surry Central solidified its spot in third for next week’s conference tournament.
The Greyhounds jumped on the Eagles in the first set and went up 6-1. Micah Felts set the pace with powerful serves, including an ace for the Hounds’ second point, and Aniya Joyce handed out powerful attacks on the front line. Kyra Stanley and Callie Robertson soon joined in on the run with kills of their own.
Service errors derailed North Surry’s run and allowed Central to get back in the game. Katie O’Neal and Mia McMillen led the Eagles’ attackers as they cut into North Surry’s lead. Exceptional back line play by both sides led to some long rallies, including one won by Surry Central that tied the score at 15-15.
McMillen recorded one of her four first-set kills to give Central its first lead since 1-0, but North’s Joyce and Robertson put the Hounds back in control with attacks assisted by Ella Riggs. McMillen picked up another kill to make the score 18-17, with North still leading. The kill was the first point in a 7-1 run by the Eagles.
Jaylyn Templeton shifted to outside hitter from setter and sent over a barrage of attacks. Templeton had three kills during the late surge by Central, and the senior led the team in that category for the first set.
Central gave up serve on an attack error to make it 24-21. Bella Jones’ strong serving helped the Hounds cut the lead to 24-23 and force a timeout by the Eagles. Templeton ended the set with a kill out of the timeout.
It was Central’s turn to start with a big run in the second set. Templeton served the Eagles to a 6-0 lead, with Lainey Smith patrolling the net at middle hitter.
North Surry couldn’t get momentum on its side in the set as Central had a sideout percentage of 81.8% in the set compared to North’s 36.0%. The Greyhounds trailed 10-5 when Central rattled off five-straight points to go up 15-5. North only had six kills in the second set with Robertson recording three, Joyce two and Stanley one.
The Eagles cruised to a 25-11 victory in the set to take a 2-0 lead.
Surry Central’s sideout percentage reached a new high for the match in the third set by allowing North to hold serve just once. This came during the set’s first two points; Joyce made it 1-0 with a kill, and an attack error by the Eagles made it 2-0 for the Greyhounds.
The teams tied at 2-2, 3-3 and 4-4 before Central took control by scoring 11 of the next 14 points to lead 15-7. Felts and Joyce kept North competitive with kills, but would give up two or three points to the Eagles for every Greyhound point earned.
Surry Central went on to win the third set 25-14 to complete the 3-0 sweep.
The Golden Eagles have won six-straight meetings against the Greyhounds after just once between 2007 and 2018.
Both teams will compete in the FH2A Conference Tournament Oct. 18-20 at North Wilkes.