St Stephens volleyball team beats Watauga 3-1
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
When Watauga’s volleyball team had a little momentum, St. Stephens struggled to keep up. When St. Stephens grabbed some momentum, Watauga had the same problem
Neither team could build a big lead in their Northwestern Conference showdown at Lentz-Eggers Gym Tuesday. St. Stephens rode its momentum in the fourth game to claim a 3-1 victory over the Pioneers.
St. Stephens took a 25-23, 22-25, 27-25, 25-21. Watauga, which beat St. Stephens earlier in the season, slipped to 11-5 overall, 6-1 in the NWC. The Pioneers dropped their third straight match, which includes a trimatch sweep by Southern Alamance and Reagan last Saturday.
“Unfortunately, we continue to ride that up and down,” Pioneers coach Kris Hagaman said. “We played well and then let them have five or six points back. We can’t keep playing like that. We’ve got to play with more consistency.”
Watauga and St. Stephens both made plenty of plays offensively and defensively throughout the match. Neither team led by more than four points in the final two games. Watauga led 15-8 in the second game, but St. Stephens pulled to 17-16. Watauga claimed a 24-22 lead before a double block by Andrea Foster and Meredith Farthing to claim the Pioneers’ long victory.
St. Stephens did not cruise to any easy wins. The Indians overcame a 17-14 deficit in the third game to take a 23-19 lead, but did not hold a bigger lead. Watauga fought off two set points with kills from Rebecca Hayes and Channing Hagaman to tie the match 24-24.
Hagaman had another kill to fight off another set point 25-25, but the Indians got a kill and a block to win the set.
“We were up five or six points and they came back,” Kris Hagaman said. “They wanted it. They fought hard.”
Hagaman kept the Pioneers close with 20 kills offensively and 21 digs defensively. Hayes added 16 kills and four blocks defensively. Kiersten McClannon added 16 digs and 10 kills. Setter Kristen Carter handed out 48 assists.
Watauga led 14-13 when both teams went through a delay after a St. Stephens player landed awkwardly and injured her back. She left the court under her own power, but did not return to the match.
Once play started again, St. Stephens rallied past Watauga’s 16-13 lead with a quick 4-1 rally. The teams were tied 20-20 when the Indians scored four of the final five points of the match.
Watauga hosts West Iredell on Wednesday and NWC rival Fred T. Foard on Thursday.
Watauga's junior varsity volleyball team also fell 2-1, losing 25-22, 20-25, 25-17.
McClannon had eight kills and seven digs, while Sydney Farthing had six kills and 14 digs. Setter Sarah Combs dished out 19 assists. Watauga slipped to 10-2, 6-1.