Kinston edges Pleasant Home for area title

Published 12:31 am Saturday, October 20, 2012

Pleasant Home's Taylor Godwin (2) kills the ball as Kinston's Emily Mock (15) tries for the block Friday in the Class 1A, Area 2 tournament championship at PHS. | Andrew Garner/Star-News

Pleasant Home “lost the wrong” volleyball game against its bitter rival Kinston on Friday afternoon at the Class 1A, Area 2 championship.

Both schools won seven games each against each other during the season, but the Lady Bulldogs’ experience won out as they went on to take the fifth-game decider and win the area title, once again.

KHS lost the first and third games, but came back on mistakes and missed opportunities by the Lady Eagles to claim the second and fourth games to force a game five.

Pleasant Home got the ball rolling in games one and three, but couldn’t come back from a 12-0 deficit in the fifth, despite a late rally.

“We just lost the wrong one,” PHS coach Jerry Davis said. “We had the opportunities.”

The Lady Bulldogs won the match 19-25, 25-10, 21-25, 25-22, 15-10, and will face Sacred Heart at 11:30 a.m. on Friday of the Class 1A Super Regional. Pleasant Home’s runner up finish also granted it a berth to the next round, where the Lady Eagles will face Donoho at 9 a.m. on Friday.

PHS took a time out while trailing 6-11 and then went on a small run to give some momentum back to the Lady Eagles in the first game. The Lady Eagles utilized their size and power in their blocking and attacking at the net.

Several times the game saw Taylor Godwin and Raven Woods getting key blocks for PHS, with Courtney Slaughter gaining ground as a back up.

The tide turned as PHS trailed 13-15 in the opening set. The Lady Eagles went on a 4-0 run to take a 17-15 lead, and then went on a 5-0 run late to win the first game.

Kinston took advantage of the Lady Eagles’ mistakes in the second game to go on a 15-0 run, thanks to solid hitting from its veteran team. PHS trailed 4-20 at the end of the run.

The Lady Eagles went ahead 15-8 at the mid point of the third game, but KHS made it close late and brought the game within two points at the end.

PHS led 20-14 and took that lead to the bank in the third-game win.

The fourth game went back and forth in the middle and saw both teams tied seven times. KHS rallied from a 17-19 deficit and went on a 3-0 run to get the ball back on serve at 20-19.

Pleasant Home took a time out to calm the nerves and got back on serve at 20-20. Both went back and for the next two points, but KHS took it home on a late 4-0 run to force the fifth game.

“We just want to be consistent,” Davis said. “They’ve (Kinston) been doing this for a long time. We’re getting the hang of it. That’s what we’ve been trying to get to — is to the Kinston level. I think we’re very competitive right now.”

Davis said he was “proud” of the girls at how hard they fought in the end.

“It’s just tough,” he said.

Kinston 3, Florala 0

Florala held on to its improvement throughout this season, but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Bulldogs pulled out the 25-5, 25-4, 25-13 victory to secure a berth to play in the super regional next week.

“I’m proud of the improvements that we’ve made, but of course I’m not satisfied,” FHS coach Joea McNeil said. “We won four games this year on varsity, which was an improvement.

“We’re losing three seniors, but we’ve got some coming up that I think will do really well (next year),” she said. “We’re going to work hard next summer and are looking forward to bigger and better things.”

The Lady Wildcats finished their season 4-10.