DOBSON — Last week, the Starmount Lady Rams volleyball team traveled to North Surry to take on the Greyhounds. North Surry took the match in three sets, 27-25, 25-9, 25-22.
Starmount, whose 3-1 record coming in was blemished only by a loss to unbeaten 4A Davie County, wasn’t interested in rolling over for North Surry. The Lady Rams matched their hosts point for point in that first set. At 21-20, North scored two straight and appeared to have the set in hand, but Starmount staved off double set point at 24-22 to tie the score, then saved another one at 25-24. Finally, Camille Cartwright put a ball away to make it 26-25 in the Lady Hounds’ favor and then took a set from Dixie Fulk on the fourth set point and finished it to end the set.
In set two, North Surry looked like a powerhouse team. It was once again Cartwright on center stage in the early going, as the Lady Hounds ran off 11 straight points with her serving, going from 2-3 to 13-3. In this spree, she served two aces, while Mikaela Johnson delivered three crushing kills and Martha Holt scored off a dink shot. The run didn’t end until Cartwright served a ball long, but Johnson got possession right back by smashing another ball across the net. From there, it was all academic, and Starmount never got back into the set.
The Lady Rams battled back in set three. Cambria Bowen served an ace to put Starmount in front 6-4, and for the next several minutes, the teams traded wins on long rallies. Although physically overmatched against North Surry six-footers Johnson and Holt, Lady Ram hitters Kayla Vanhoy, Maggie Freed and Taylor Wood did their best to stand in against them. At one point, Vanhoy put a ball away from deep in her own end, and Starmount pushed the lead to 13-9 after Daniela Murguia scored a kill on an on-two play. When Freed won a long rally a few minutes later, the Lady Rams led 15-10.
It looked to be all Starmount, until North Surry came back. The Lady Hounds reeled off the next five points. Paige Sizemore had a kill in the run, and Emma Haynes took two straight sets from Fulk for kills to tie the set at 15. Starmount senior Chloe Ford responded with a kill and then a block to keep her team on top. Vanhoy scored to give her team a 20-18 edge before Johnson stepped up and put a ball past a Lady Ram to make it a one-point set.
Karlie Marion delivered a serve that no one on Starmount could handle. Bowen desperately tried to run the ball down after a receive error and fell hard to the floor. The set was tied at 20, but there was a delay of several minutes before the Lady Rams’ junior libero was able to get up under her own power.
After the break, North regained the lead by winning the next two points. Vanhoy struck from near the back line for a point, and Freed saved match point at 24-21, but that was as close as Starmount got. Holt scored a kill on the next rally to end the match.
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