Gelling together as a cohesive unit during its eight-game winning streak, Carroll County’s young volleyball team is starting to come of age. Never was that more apparent than Thursday night when the Cavaliers battled back from a huge deficit to knock off previously undefeated Marion in five games in a Southwest District battle in Hillsville.
Down two games to one and facing deficits of 8-4 and 12-10 in the fourth game, Carroll County (9-3, 2-0 SWD) fought back for a 25-21 victory to force a fifth and deciding game. In the final game, the Cavaliers emerged with a 15-9 win to hand Marion (11-1, 1-1 SWD) its first loss of the season.
“I thought it was a big win for us,” Carroll County head coach Cindy Edwards said. “To come back when we were down in the fourth game, the resiliency they showed to be so young…they could easily stop but they don’t do that. They compete.”
A much-improved and senior-oriented team, Marion took the first game 25-19 and went up two games to one with a 25-17 victory in the third game after Carroll took the second by a 25-16 count. The Cavs battled back thanks to tremendous play all around.
Autumn Hill led Carroll with four aces, and she also contributed 19 service points, two blocks and eight kills. Rachel Farmer was big at the net with four blocks, while Jessica Sheek led the team with 20 service points to go along with 15 kills and three aces. Eustacia Smith’s 19 kills were a team high. She also chipped in three blocks, 17 service points and 12 digs.
Megan Alderman paced Carroll with 17 digs and 24 assists, while Cheyenne Strickland had 15 digs and 13 assists.
“They are a senior-oriented team. For us to beat them at home, it was huge because we have to go there and it will be difficult. I thought they were scrappy, thought they got some nice balls up and really put the pressure on us to execute a little bit more,” Edwards said. “We are a young group. We have six sophomores, a freshman, six juniors and two seniors, so the execution of those girls being on the court and playing, their chemistry is just phenomenal. They just get along so well.”
Both teams wore pink uniforms Thursday night as part of a Pink-Out game. Edwards said the team has been raising money for three groups, the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Emily’s Wagon, and the American Cancer Society. Between a car wash, trash pick-up at the Flea Market, a cruise-in and fundraisers with shirts and wristbands, the volleyball team has raised approximately $4,000 for cancer awareness when combined with funds raised from the Sept. 25 Powderpuff Football game.
“They have done just an awesome job. Those kids have put in a lot of hard work to raise that money,” Edwards said.