Chiefs dethrone Seahawks as Lower State champions

The North Myrtle Beach High volleyball team had this date circled on its calendar for a year – almost to the day. The reward turned out to be well worth the wait.

After falling to rival Myrtle Beach in last year’s Class 4A Lower State championship match, the Lady Chiefs vowed to avoid another near-miss in the 2018 campaign.

They did so in convincing fashion Tuesday in front of a supportive home crowd, sweeping the reigning state champion Lady Seahawks in straight sets to advance to Saturday’s state championship match.

North Myrtle Beach left no doubt about which team was most deserving of a state title shot along the 15-mile stretch of the Grand Strand that has earned a reputation for some of the toughest volleyball programs in the state.

Led by seniors Sydney Bellamy and Kayla Henley, who have one final match remaining in their illustrious high school careers, the Lady Chiefs won a hard-fought first set 25-23 before kicking into high gear.

They closed it out with wins of 25-15 and 25-16 to complete the 3-0 sweep and a 3-0 record against Myrtle Beach this season. The Lady Chiefs have lost only one set since resuming the season a month ago in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

North Myrtle Beach will face defending state runner-up Pickens, which swept Daniel 3-0 in the Upper State final. The state final is set for 4:30 p.m. Saturday at White Knoll High in Lexington.

Photo by Janet Morgan/myhorrynews

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