Prep Volleyball: East takes pivotal first game to cruise over THS
In a matchup of two teams in desperate need of a victory Thursday, one walked away feeling better about themselves while the other was left with an all too familiar feeling.
East Davidson snatched a competitive first game win from Thomasville, then coasted over the final two games in securing its first Central Carolina Conference victory of the season, 25-20, 25-15, 25-12. It was the first win for the Golden Eagles since the Davidson County tournament at the beginning of the season. For the Bulldogs, it was another tough loss in what remains a winless season.
“We needed this one,” said EDHS coach Kim Warrick. “This is a scrappy bunch and they work so hard in practice. We have played some close ones where we should have won, but the little things have hurt us. This one was good to have.”
Thomasville was holding on to an 11-9 lead through the pivotal first game, until East came back to tie it on Jessica Ferguson's ace. The match went back and forth and THS went ahead once more on Jazmyne Bowden's dump shot for a point that made it 15-14. East used a 4-0 spurt to regain the lead and it held up. Taylor Moretz sizzled a kill to the floor and Madison Gibson followed with a tip shot. A pair of key hits by Shay Hepler increased the lead to 18-15, getting THS coach Moranda DeSpain off the bench to call time out.
When play resumed, senior Jashana Thomas got the Bulldogs right back in it, blocking one shot and coming up with a tip and kill. THS had cut the lead to one, but Hepler's kill kept space between the teams. Helper gave the point back with a serve into the net, but it would be the last time Thomasville scored. East snatched the final four points to win 25-20.
The early setback seemed to bother the Bulldogs. They had fought so hard to win that first game, but were on the short end again. They were not the same the remainder of the evening, losing the final two games by a wide margin.
“We haven't gotten the win results that I have wanted, but to me we have gotten the results in stats we have been putting up,” said DeSpain. “The girls are doing what I have been teaching and it shows we are getting better.”
Moretz was a big part of East's success Thursday. She had a strong presence at the net leading her team with 13 kills and four blocks. That is the kind of effort the Eagles need consistently to be a factor in the CCC.
“She is a very good hitter and has an unbelievable vertical,” said Warrick. “She can jump and is an excellent blocker.”
Hepler added four kills for the 2-6 Eagles.
In the junior varsity match, East dropped Thomasville 15-25, 25-18, 25-18. Brooke Walser had seven kills while Destiny Hucks and Mackenzie Moretz added five kills each. The East junior varsity is also 2-6.