08/25/11 — N. Duplin-Union volleyball

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N. Duplin-Union volleyball

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on August 25, 2011 1:48 PM

CALYPSO -- North Duplin started its 2011 varsity volleyball campaign 3-0 with a first-year head coach on the bench.

That euphoria is over.

Madeline Worley's tie-breaking service ace and a match-ending, four-hit violation capped Union's come-from-behind 18-25, 25-22, 17-25, 25-18, 16-14 triumph over the Rebels on Wednesday evening.

North Duplin (3-2 overall) suffered its second consecutive defeat and dropped to 3-1 against Tri-County 1-A Conference opposition this season. The Spartans exited 3-1 overall.

One day earlier, the Rebels endured a three-set loss to perennial Class 2-A power North Johnston. Players texted Brown later in the evening to say they hadn't put their best effort into the non-conference match.

"I think the loss carried over," said Rebels head coach Kelly Brown. "All I've heard is how strong North Johnston is and I think the girls were down before they even got here (to play).

"Tonight, we didn't know how Union was and we beat them the first set. I think the girls might have taken them for granted and they just beat us. We just need to work harder, play harder."

North Duplin collected 30 kills and 30 aces as a team, but committed 19 service errors and 42 unforced miscues in the five-set affair. Those mistakes proved costly in the final two sets.

A string of service errors and miscommunication on offense allowed Union to turn an 11-9 lead into a 19-11 cushion in the fourth set. The Rebels pulled to within 22-18 on back-to-back kills from Danielle Hinrichs, but could get no closer.

Three unforced errors gave the Spartans the 25-18 win and forced the decisive fifth set.

"It was anybody's ballgame (then) ... zero-zero," said first-year Spartans head coach Randi-Kaye McMillan. "You know everybody says play with talent. You do, but you've also got have to heart in there ... show me that you want it.

"They wanted it."

North Duplin committed six hitting errors on the first nine points of the final set. The Rebels chipped away at a five-point deficit and tied it at 13-13 on Pate's ace that landed just inside the back line.

A Union error gave North Duplin match point at 14-13, but the Spartans answered with a 3-0 run. Worley's kill off a block and her ace put Union ahead 15-14. The match ended on the Rebels' four-hit violation.

Brock spread her match-high 22 assists among six hitters. Hinrichs finished with 10 kills and two solo blocks, while McCarty provided eight kills and one block.