Midtown: Sports

Jordan downs Caps in straight sets in volleyball playoffs

Broughton volleyball coach Traci Smith doesn’t want her team judged by its 11-13 record and fifth-place finish in the Cap Eight conference.

Records don’t show the heart and determination the Caps showcased at Saturday’s N.C. High School Athletic Association first-round playoff game at Jordan. Though Broughton lost in straight sets to the Falcons, ranked No. 2 among area teams by The News & Observer, her squad fought till the end.

The two teams played a first-set thriller. Despite trailing throughout the set, Broughton, behind the serve of outside hitter Wynn Burrus, took a 24-23 lead.

But Jordan fought off the set point and rallied to win, 27-25.

“We felt that by taking that first set, especially when they had a set point, it gave us a mental edge,” Jordan coach Erik Hofheinz said. “That carried over into the rest of the match.”

Jordan took advantage of its size and quickness in the second set. The Falcons quickly jumped out to a double-digit lead and never trailed in the 25-12 win.

Broughton took an early lead in the third set but couldn’t sustain it against the Falcons attacking defense. Jordan took the final set 25-20.

“This team is a fighter. They easily could have given up after the first set, but they fought till the end,” Smith said.

Kati Smith led Broughton with five kills, while Jordan’s Margaret Gunn recorded 19 kills and nine digs.

“They improved throughout the season and reached their full potential,” Smith said. “That’s all I can ask.”

Jordan (26-6), the PAC-6 champion, was scheduled to host 2011 state semifinalist Green Hope (18-4) in the NCHSAA’s second round. See www.newsobserver for results.