Over the years, volleyball matches between North Johnston and Smithfield-Selma usually last the maximum five sets, meaning both teams usually expect a marathon battle.
But neither the Panthers and coach Nicole Davis, nor the Spartans and their coach Chase Crocker were expecting the marathon they would experience Wednesday, when their non-conference match was thrown into darkness.
With North holding a two sets to one lead, and the Spartans leading 10-8 in the fourth set, the match — and the Smithfield-Selma gymnasium, as well as the school — went abruptly dark as the power went out.
The blackout occurred in the middle of the 19th point of the set, just as the Panthers were returning the ball across the net.
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Both teams took seats on the gym floor while school officials attempted to restore power, but after approximately 30 minutes, it was determined that the power and the match could not be resumed.
Therefore, match officials have suspended the match, which will resume when — and if — school officials can find a playing date.
“We might not be able to fit it into our schedule, or they might not be able to fit it in theirs,” Crocker said. “I can’t promise anything right now. Time will tell and we will see.”
North took the first and third sets by identical 25-18 margins, using an 8-0 surge to snap an 8-all tie in the first set and an 9-2 run in pulling away from a 7-all standoff in the third set.
Smithfield-Selma overcame a 10-9 deficit in the second set with a 9-2 run and held off the Panthers to level the match at one set all.