HAYESVILLE – Before either one of Western North Carolina’s two undefeated volleyball teams can lose a match, they have to lose a set.
Good luck with that.
The Final Four in the NCHSAA playoffs is a win away for Hayesville (24-0) and West Henderson (27-0), who are both home for Tuesday’s fourth round in 1-A and 3-A, respectively.
Every score from their postseason matches so far has been 3-0.
The Smoky Mountain Conference champion Yellow Jackets host Roxboro Community (24-3) Tuesday at 6 p.m., the same time that WNC Athletic Conference champ Falcons will entertain Marvin Ridge (28-3).
“My seniors have something they want to finish,” Hayesville coach Tammy Dills said.
“They all have a goal, and they are very team-focused right now. It’s very exciting, especially to get the chance to do it on our home floor. The stands are packed in front of your hometown and that’s been tremendous for us.”
Winners of Tuesday’s matches will advance to Thursday’s regional-championship round and the state finals are scheduled for Saturday.
Half of Dills’ 10 players are seniors — Kaci Fields, Lexie Patterson, Maddie Payne, Whitney Baldwin and Lindsey Davis. In Saturday’s sweep of West Montgomery, Payne had 22 assists, nine digs, six kills and four blocks. Other statistical leaders were Davis (18 digs, five kills and two blocks), Patterson (13 digs, six kills, one ace and one block), Baldwin (nine digs, five kills and one block), Savanna Annis 11 digs, five kills and four aces), Kimonta Lloyd (six blocks and five kills) and Emily Thurmond (seven aces).
West Henderson eased past Mountain Athletic Conference 3-A champion Enka on Saturday.
The Falcons got 24 assists and seven digs from Sierra Jones. Mary Catherine Ball added 18 kills and nine digs, Destynee Galloway had 10 service points and nine digs, Casey Brown added seven kills and six digs. Finally, Sarah Anne Vidak (four blocks) and Kasey West (27 digs) were also instrumental to the third-round win.
West Henderson has seven seniors who were part of last year’s run to the 3-A Western Regional finals — Ball, West, Galloway, Vidak, Jones, Claudia Martin and Chloe Biggs.