Volleyball: Wakefield 3, D.H. Conley 0

Wakefield volleyball sweeps D.H. Conley, gets first state championship bid

cgrant@newsobserver.comOctober 29, 2013 

— Wakefield’s Maya Muldrow watched her final kill drop to the floor Tuesday, and then the 6-foot-1 hitter fell to the floor herself.

She was quickly met by her 12 teammates. They had done it. They had made school history for the second time in four days, leading Wakefield to its first N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A regional volleyball title.

“We finally made it to states. We worked so hard all year long,” said Muldrow, who finished with eight kills and five blocks. “I saw Gabby (Benda) setting it toward me, so I just knew I had to put it away. … We’ve been talking about this since the beginning of the season, so we finally made it. It was just the best moment ever.”

The Wolverines will face Hough on Saturday in the state championship at Reynolds Coliseum.

Conley (28-1) hadn’t dropped a set through the first four rounds of the playoffs, but it was Wakefield that won in straight sets Tuesday, 25-19, 25-21, 25-22.

“I don’t think we played our best tonight, but I think we had a lot of energy and I think we kind of caught them off guard,” said Benda, who finished with 28 set assists. “I know what my team is capable of, so I came in here saying that we’re going to stay humble, but confident, and have energy and come out and play our style. I’m really proud of all of those girls. Everyone deserves it, and we’ve worked really hard.”

Wakefield (24-2), a No. 2 seed from the Cap Eight, was pushed to five sets in the second and fourth rounds against Apex and Durham Riverside, respectively.

“We had some little bumps against Apex and Riverside, but our chemistry and just working together really just got us over those bumps,” said Darian Mack, who added six kills and five digs. “This is just another level. It’s crazy. It’s happening. It’s real. Saturday we’re playing for a state championship.”

Mack, Benda and Jordan Glass are three seniors returning for a Wakefield team that felt it was stopped short of its potential last year when the Wolverines couldn’t get past conference rival and eventual state runner-up Leesville Road. Wakefield will be the second Cap Eight team in as many years to compete in the title game, and this group is determined to go all the way.

“It is huge to end your senior year like this, but it’s not over. We still have the championship game,” said Glass, who led the Wolverines with nine kills and four blocks.

Wakefield trailed for much of the first two sets but came out on top with surges late in each, including a 13-3 run to win the second. The Wolverines then led for most of the third and held off a strong Conley effort in order to complete the sweep.

The road to the finals and the way Wakefield won Tuesday is a testament to the team’s perseverance, coach Cynthia Terrell said.

“We beat some quality teams along the way,” she said. “And when we can beat quality teams and play bad and still win at times, that speaks volumes. … They don’t give up.”

The 4A championship is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

Grant: 919-829-4538

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