CARY — The Wakefield volleyball team has a newfound intensity, catapulting the Wolverines into the N.C. 4A East semifinals after a 3-1 victory against Green Hope on Thursday.
The win sets up a fourth meeting against undefeated Cap Eight rival Leesville Road.
“We knew that we had to be aggressive,” Wakefield coach Cynthia Terrell said. “I’ve been telling them, ‘You win, you stay in; you lose, you snooze.’ We can’t afford to fall asleep out there anymore.”
The Wolverines were wide awake, but the host Falcons put up a good fight.
The first set spoke volumes as the teams traded shots in a high intensity match that opened with a nail-biting 26-24 win by the Wolverines.
Green Hope knew Wakefield would come with a strong attacking offense and tried to counter it with their own hitting game, Falcons coach Karl Redelfs said.
The teams traded points in a second set that featured 12 ties, and Green Hope surged late to tie the match with a 25-19 win.
“I think they played outstanding,” Redelfs said. “It was one of those games where it could have gone either way, and it really did go back and forth for most of the match. I think it came down to making fewer of those little mistakes.”
Wakefield came from behind to win the third set 25-23 and took a fourth and deciding set 25-20 to end Green Hope’s season.
“If we went to five games, it would have been a lot of pressure on us with them being at home,” Wakefield senior Lauren Saxby said. “We just played really aggressive. I don’t think I would change a thing, other than not letting a few balls hit the floor.”
Terrell said the win was also a bit of history for the team.
“I’m proud. This is the first time we’ve ever been in the final four, even with the quality of players we’ve had (at Wakefield).”
But the Wolverines’ business is not finished, as they will go on to face a very familiar opponent.
Wakefield met Leesville Road twice in the regular season and the teams battled in the Cap Eight Conference tournament championship this month. Leesville has won all three of those matches.
“That’ll be an emotional, mental game,” Terrell said. “It’ll be a battle of the Cap Eights. A battle of one and two like it has been all year. I hope the team that has been here the last few games shows up.”