The Sandhills Community College volleyball team did not get back home from its weekend in New York City until the wee hours of Monday morning.
Chances are the 14 members of the team that made the trip got in some sleep along the way after a whirlwind three days that included five wins in a row, a bus tour of the city and a Broadway show.
The Lady Flyers take a record of 9-0 into Wednesday’s 6 p.m. Region X conference opener at Heins Gymnasium on Donor Night against Vance-Granville CC (0-2).
“The whole reason for making the trip was to play good competition,” Coach Alicia Riggan said by phone early Sunday evening. The girls took care of business on Saturday and today they found a way to win in a five-set thriller. We saw a lot of good competition and everybody got to play. To go 5-0 was icing on the cake.”
The two days of matches were hosted by the Fashion Institute of Technology. Four of the wins came in three games including the one on Saturday against a Northampton, Pa. squad that was ranked No. 6 in the NJCAA Division III preseason poll after going 31-3 last season and making it to the national tournament.
In a 3-2 victory on Sunday over a Queensborough CC team that also received votes in the pre-season poll, the Flyers came back from a 2-1 deficit
There were not a lot of eye-popping individual statistics produced during the demanding schedule of matches as many Flyers shared the load.
Saturday’s three match schedule began with a 25-13-25-18-25-18 victory over Suffolk County CC. Sophomores led the way as middle hitter Paige Garner was credited with 12 kills and libero Erica Groff contributed 18 digs. Freshman setter Abby Wallace was the assist leader with 19.
Freshmen outside hitters Chelsea Green and Brooke Sayers led a balanced effort with their all-around play in the 25-18, 25-20 and 25-19 win over Northampton. Green contributed six kills, five digs, and three service aces. Sayers was credited with four kills, six digs, and three aces. Northampton went on to win all four of its other matches.
Sayers had 10 kills and 12 digs as the Flyers beat Fashion Institute 26-24, 25-21 and 25-11 to complete Saturday’s play. Freshman right side Rachael Mashburn added eight kills, six assists, five digs and two aces. Setters Wallace and sophomore Leah Salzwedel were credited with 16 and 10 assists respectively.
The Flyers eked out the win against Queensborough Sunday morning 25-15, 16-25, 23-25, 25-12 and 15-12. Wallace had 33 assists and 14 digs. The kill leaders were Garner with 15 and Sayers with 11. Mashburn had 17 digs to go with six aces. Groff contributed 23 digs. Sophomore middle hitter Morgan McCarthy had eight kills and freshman outside Kaitlyn Lisenby added seven kills and 16 digs.
The Flyers defeated the Fashion Institute for a second time 25-18, 25-22 and 25-9 to conclude the day. Garner, who is ranked second in Division III in hitting percentage (.494) was credited with 14 kills. Salzwedel and Wallace had 13 assists each.
-C.Bergmann, Sept. 4, 2017