If there were a match to date that could sum up the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference volleyball season, this was it.
Fuquay-Varina outdueled Athens Drive 3-2 on Tuesday night (19-25, 25-17, 25-15, 27-29, 15-12) to stay a game behind Green Hope for first. Four teams entered the night tied for second.
“That was a great game of volleyball. This conference – it’s been said over and over – is very tight and this further speaks to that,” Athens Drive coach Emily Smith said.
Both teams had heavy hitters. Fuquay-Varina’s just happened to be from the same womb.
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The Sonnendecker twins, Morgan and Maddie, combined for 40 kills. Maddie had a game-high 21.
Yet the Bengals (11-2, 4-2) were able to pull of victories in games when the ball didn’t always go to one of the junior twins.
“It was a more balanced attack, even if more of them went outside,” Pagel said.
Athens Drive’s Kendall Yount had an all-around game with 10 kills and some stellar back row play.
The Jaguars (8-5, 3-3) worked the ball through their middle to sophomore Allie Lake (eight kills, eight blocks) and freshman Claire Campbell (four kills). with success. Alex Porter added eight kills.
“We’ve got to work on capitalizing at the end of the rally. Fuquay had us on that,” Smith “It really did come down to who was going to pull away in the situation.”
On Thursday, the SWAC will hit the halfway point in the conference season. Green Hope has positioned itself as the team on top, but seven of the league’s teams are still battling for one of the league’s three automatic playoff spots.
With the new seeding process for NCHSAA playoff volleyball, teams that don’t get automatic berths will get wild-card spots depending on their overall record (think NFL’s wild-card system, not NCAA selection committee).
It seems to be a wild ride the rest of the way.
“I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again because this is great volleyball,” Smith said.