Volleyball Wrapup: Chiefs, Seahawks reach Round 2

VBALLThe North Myrtle Beach Lady Chiefs defeated Airport Thursday night 3-1 (25-23, 25-15, 15-25, 25-22) to advance to the second round of the Class 3A state volleyball tournament.

The defending Lower State champion Chiefs got out to an early lead in the first and didn’t look back through two games.

But, the Eagles from West Columbia’s Airport High School, seeded third in Region 5-3A, came out in the third rallying. The Chiefs stalled at 11 on the scoreboard as the Eagles ripped point after point, finishing 25-15 to cut the Chiefs’ lead to 2-1.

“We kind of went complacent,” said NMB coach Erica Allman. “We won the first two and they came back and fought that third game and beat us. Our girls thought they had it easy and Airport came out fighting and we started making the errors. I told our girls that this could be the end of the road, just as it could be for them.”

Airport opened the fourth and deciding game strong before stalling themselves at 11, as the Chiefs closed the gap with seven straight points. Back and forth it went, before the Eagles built a lead at 22-17. But the Chiefs pulled it together under the senior leadership of Lauren Linta, who served eight straight for the win.

“That was big for the senior to go back there and know that she had to control it,” said Allman. “I told her to not worry about being aggressive, just to keep it in. We’re rallying back and forth and it’s too close to miss a serve. That was big.”

Sophomore Maggie Hash led the Chiefs with 15 kills, Jana Berry had 11 kills. The Chiefs landed six aces on the night as a team.

North Myrtle Beach will travel to face No.  1 ranked Hilton Head Tuesday at 6pm.

* Myrtle Beach 3, Gilbert 0: The top-seeded Lady Seahawks swept their way into the second round of the Class 3A state playoffs by beating Gilbert 25-16, 25-20, and 25-18.

Myrtle Beach was led by Maggie Slabinski’s 17 kills and Danni Hix’s 28 assists in front of a strong home crowd. The Lady Seahawks will host the winner of Tuesday’s Orangeburg-Wilkinson/Darlington matchup.

* Socastee 3, North Augusta 0: The Lady Braves won their first-round match in straight sets in their inaugural season in the Class 4A playoffs.

* White Knoll 3, Carolina Forest 2: The Lady Panthers’ streak of postseason frustration continued Thursday night with a hard-fought, first-round loss to Class 4A power White Knoll.  Despite earning at least a share of the regular-season region title for six straight years, Carolina Forest has not won a playoff game during that span.

Photo Credit: Lesley M. Etherson and Louis E. Keiner

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