Coastal 3A News
Vikes hustle into semis
October 27, 2013D H Conley High School
Even when it seemed Hoggard was almost certain to get a point on Saturday, D.H. Conley’s volleyball team found a way to squash those hopes.
In the third set of a 4-A fourth-round state playoff match being dominated by Conley, DHC’s Sydney Garner saved a ball near the first row of bleachers and Kori Adams scurried to keep it alive before Kalee Vanderhorst produced a powerful kill for the Vikings, who advanced with a 25-18, 25-11, 25-12 sweep of Hoggard.
A few plays later, a Hoggard kill attempt ricochetted off Mary Catherine Spain’s leg and headed back over the net for a D.H. Conley point. The sequence was part of a 15-1 run by the host Vikings (28-0) to begin the final set.
“We really hustled today and didn’t let anything hit the floor,” said Adams, who finished with five kills and a match-high 15 assists. “That’s our goal, to play until the whistle blows.”
Conley advanced to the semifinal round for the second straight season and will host Wakefield on Tuesday. Wakefield beat Durham Riverside on Saturday.
The Vikings lost to Cardinal Gibbons last year in the 3-A East finals.
The win over Hoggard, also nicknamed the Vikings, was Conley’s fourth postseason sweep. DHC, which also beat Hoggard last month, has yet to play a Game 5 all season and it has rarely needed a fourth set.
“This was definitely one of the best matches we played all season. It just all seemed to click,” DHC coach Jennifer Gillikin said. “I know the scores were what they were, but this team tested us today. ... They come out and always play very hard, but our kids played like every point mattered and I think that’s why we were able to get a jump-start on the match.”
In addition to Adams, D.H. Conley got strong outings from Vanderhorst (match-high 13 kills), Spain (seven kills), Tori Morgan (11 digs) and Madison Maloney (12 assists).
Hoggard (18-4) only held two leads the entire match — 2-1 and 3-2 advantages in the opening game. The victors used a 4-0 run during Game 1 to gain momentum and they eventually doubled Hoggard’s score — 20-10 — after a kill by Vanderhorst.
The second game featured 8-1 and 15-3 DHC leads before a 5-0 run, which included two kills by Adams and a Maloney ace, made it 20-6.
The Vikes closed Game 2 on a Spain kill and Game 3 on a Vanderhorst kill.
“We’re just playing really well as a team and working together,” Vanderhorst said. “I think we push each other to do better and work together.”
Contact Ronnie Woodward at email@example.com, 252-329-9592 or follow @RonnieW11 on Twitter.