Kinston wins area title

Published 12:03 am Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Kinston’s Alyssa Caver (14) and Macie Sanders (12) play during action in the finals of the Class 1A, Area 2 volleyball tournament on Monday. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

KINSTON – Another area volleyball tournament, another area championship title for Kinston.

The eighth-ranked Lady Bulldogs beat Pleasant Home 3-0 (25-15, 25-13, 25-16) in the Class 1A, Area 2 finals Monday afternoon to claim their 33rd area title in school history.

With Kinston’s area title win and Pleasant Home’s semifinals win, both teams will advance to play in the Class 1A South Regional Tournament this Sat., Oct. 15.

KHS head volleyball coach Janie Wiggins said in order to be successful at the regional tournament, the Lady Bulldogs need to play “consistently.”

“I just had to keep reminding mine to play our game, and not a sloppy game,” Wiggins said about the finals.

Florala ended its season, falling to PHS 3-0 (5-25, 2-25, 11-25) in the semifinals of the tournament. The Lady Wildcats finished the season with one win each in varsity and junior varsity action.

Kinston 3,

Pleasant Home 0

(area finals)

PHS volleyball coach Jerry Davis said Monday wasn’t the best day for the team against Kinston.

“We’re just good enough to be scary,” Davis said. “We can be pretty scary on a given day, and today (Monday) wasn’t one of them.

“We got through the Florala situation that guaranteed us a spot in the regional tournament,” he said.

Kinston took a bold, 6-2 lead early in the first game to force a timeout for Pleasant Home.

The Lady Bulldogs then countered after the time out with two points to go ahead 8-2 before a short 3-0 run by the Lady Eagles put PHS down 8-5 when Kinston got back on serve.

As time went on in the first game, the Lady Bulldogs found chinks in Pleasant Home’s armor on defense and went ahead 16-10 late.

Throughout the second game, the Lady Eagles played with Kinston early, only trailing by four or five at several moments.

Kinston’s power up front was evident when it penetrated Pleasant Home’s defense.

The Lady Bulldogs went on short 3-0 and 6-0 bursts in the third game to put the match out of reach for Pleasant Home, who was not hitting its spots during a large portion of the match, Davis said.

“We didn’t communicate real well,” he said. “I wasn’t real interested in having six hands going for the same ball at once. It wasn’t so much their hitting today, as much as it was their placements.”

Kinston’s Alyssa Caver had three aces; Emily Mock had nine kills, three blocks and 16 digs; Tasha had six kills and two blocks; Macie Sanders had four kills; Mary Mack had nine assists and 11 digs; Mikayla Wambles had seven assists. Erin Bowden had two blocks, and Taylo Kilcrease had nine digs.

Pleasant Home 3,

Florala 0

(area semifinals)

Pleasant Home’s Caitlin Jernigan had 21 service points to help lead the Lady Eagles to a first-game 25-5 victory.

Pleasant Home went up 10-0 in the second game, and only allowed two Florala points going on 7-0 and 9-0 runs to grab the win.

FHS head volleyball coach Joea McNeil said the girls didn’t want to play on Monday.

“When they want to play, they play really well, and when they don’t, then they don’t,” McNeil said. “You can tell they weren’t excited to play ball.”

The Lady Wildcats only varsity win came against Red Level this season.

McNeil said the team will have to go back to the “fundamentals” to get ready for next season.

“We need to go out there and win one game at a time,” she said. “I think starting a JV program is going to help. I hope it’s going to start them learning earlier — giving them more time.

“We’re doing the best we can with what we’ve got,” she said. “You’ve got to start somewhere.”

The Lady Wildcats varsity team is graduating two seniors off of its squad.