North Duplin rolls past rival, grabs playoff spot
By Ryan Hanchett
Published in Sports on October 16, 2009 1:46 PM
CALYPSO -- North Duplin needed a win.
Not just to snap a three-match losing skid, but also to assure itself a spot in the N.C. High School Athletic Association volleyball playoffs.
The Rebels got exactly what they needed with a hard-fought 28-26, 26-24, 25-23 win over Carolina 1-A Conference rival Spring Creek on Thursday. North Duplin earned the No. 3 seed for the season-ending conference tournament, which begins Monday on its home court.
"The girls' goal this season was to make the state playoffs and now that we have done that, it's time to focus on the conference tournament," said North Duplin head coach Heather Best. "We haven't been past the first round in a while and we need to do that this season."
Missed opportunities abounded in this match.
During the opening set Spring Creek had three match-point chances, but couldn't convert. Trailing 26-25, the Rebels reeled off three consecutive points to claim the set and the momentum.
North Duplin (8-9 overall, 5-5 CC) fended off another late Spring Creek scoring chance in the second set. Tearra Ammons delivered a leaping block that sealed the set victory and provided a second shot in the arm.
"I think tonight it was emotional and maybe they wanted it a little bit more," said Spring Creek head coach Deanna Morris. "We are a little bit beaten up right now with some injuries and when we had opportunities to put the first two sets away, our youth showed through a little bit."
Ammons served four consecutive aces to give the Rebels a 15-8 lead in the third set. Spring Creek (3-11, 3-7) battled back to tie the game at 22-22, but the home team rose to the occasion and finished the straight-set sweep.
North Duplin was led by Ammons' five kills, five aces and three blocks. Scarlett Martin delivered four kills and one block. Setter Hannah Brock tallied eight digs.
Kelsey Rogers paced Spring Creek with five kills and four blocks. Randy Oxendine finished with three kills and two aces. The Gators face fourth-seeded Ayden-Grifton in a quarterfinal-round match Monday in Calypso.
The Rebels face sixth-seeded Goldsboro later that evening.
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