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Bunn wins Conference!!

October 26, 2009
Bunn High School

BUNN - Wednesday's championship match of the Northern Carolina Conference Volleyball Tournament came down to a precious few key points.

And it seemed like the Bunn Ladycats won all of them.

In doing so, the top-seeded Ladycats staved off a tough challenge from rival Louisburg en route to claiming the title with a 26-24, 25-22, 25-23 conquest at the Bunn Dome.

The victory meant BHS closed its NCC schedule with an unblemished record, including a trio of victories over the Lady Warriors.

"All three of the games were super close,'' said Bunn head coach Henry Jones. "We knew Louisburg wasn't going to go down without a fight. But I saw a lot of confidence on our side -- our girls knew they could do it.''

The last meeting between the clubs -- just a few weeks ago -- went five games, so it was anticipated that the rematch, with the NCC tourney title at stake, would be hard-fought.

The event lived up to its expectations, beginning with a back-and-forth first game.

BHS led 23-21, but Louisburg immediately tied the score with a pair of kills from Sharika Evans.

But with the tally even at 24-24, Bunn earned a key sideout off a Jasmine Brodie kill, and the Ladycats would close out the game on the next point.

Neither team could establish control in the second game, and Louisburg led 19-16 following three straight service points from Zoe Hinton.

But BHS regained serve off a Tayla Ricks kill, and Brodie followed with six consecutive points to put the Ladycats ahead for good. Both Ricks and Katie Jones delivered key kills during the stretch, along with Keke Crudup.

Jones, considered one of the frontrunners for NCC Player of the Year, finished off the game with a kill.

The third game featured a showcase between ace hitters Jones and Evans, who exchanged blasts deep into the game, which was tied at 17-17.

Brodie gave Bunn a narrow lead with three service points, but Louisburg clawed back to 23-22 on an Evans kill.

At 24-23, the match was wrapped up in Bunn's favor when Ricks sent down a kill.

"I like to tell our team the advantage of being the first team to 20 in a game, and we did that in each of the games,'' Henry Jones said. "It's a matter of seeing the finish line. You have to ask yourself if the other team can beat you when you see the finish line.

"We were able to win each game, but it wasn't easy.''

Said LHS head coach Erica Wammock: "We did a good job -- we just couldn't finish. Each game was close. We made some errors on some big points.

"If the first game had gone in our favor, maybe it would have given us a boost. I think (LHS' players) have a little lack of confidence in themselves sometime.''

Bunn finished with 40 kills, with Jones and Ricks delivering 16 blasts apiece. Jones also added four aces, while Morgan Pearce was perfect from the service stripe at 11-for-11. Brodie was 16-of-17 serving to go along with five kills.

"We're playing some good volleyball right now,'' Jones said.

Louisburg received 16 kills from Evans, 22 assists from Kristen Edwards and five blocks from Robin Baker. Kyrie Bradford was 9-of-9 serving while contributing 14 digs.

Both teams will be in action today at home in the first round of the Class 2-A State Volleyball Playoffs.

The Ladycats will entertain Carrboro (for the second consecutive year) at 4 p.m. at the Bunn Dome.

Louisburg will host a familiar foe in Durham School of Arts, which was a former rival of LHS' in the Tar-Roanoke Athletic Conference until 2005. That contest will begin at 6 p.m. at the LHS Gymnasium.

Today's winners will advance to second-round action on Tuesday, followed by potential third-round matchups on Thursday in the race toward the state spike championship.

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