Williamston falls to Manteo in volleyball playoffs

Published 6:22 am Friday, October 24, 2008

By By BRIAN HAINES, Sports Writer
WILLIAMSTON — With three hard fought games, the Williamston volleyball team’s run at the NCHSAA 1-A state title came to an end as the Tigers fell to Manteo 25-21, 25-18, 25-18 in the District round of the playoffs.
Williamston, the No. 1 seed from the Atlantic Conference finished the season with a 17-7 record, while Manteo (24-1), the No. 1 seed from the Albemarle Conference will advance to play the winner of the Perquimans-Louisburg game.
The Tigers were able to hang with the Redskins for a good portion of all three games, but Manteo made more plays down the stretch to pull out three wins.
All three games followed the same pattern, as the Tigers and Redskins would trade points evenly up until about the 17-point mark, then Manteo would pull ahead.
In the first match, Williamston looked like it was going to make a late run when Erin Bowen and Katie Paschal smashed back-to-back kills to cut the Redskins lead to 19-18. However, Manteo closed out the game with a 6-3 run to take the victory.
Paschal and Bowen played tremendous games at the net, and led the Tigers with six kills each. Williamston setter Heather Jackson, as well as Jessica Clemmons also made clutch plays throughout the night.
While Rogers was proud of his team’s effort, Manteo coach Michael J. Dobbs wasn’t so happy and said his team was lucky to walk away with a win.
The Redskins got a good balanced effort, and were led by Meredith Gwaltney, Mary Kate Cheesman, Hayleigh Mayer, Jessica Lowcher and Helea Creef.
In the second match, the Tigers found themselves tied at 16 with the Redskins, but couldn’t take the next step. Manteo strung together a 9-2 rally to take a 25-18 win.
The Tigers looked like they were going to get over the hump in game three, as Clemmons served three straight points to pull them within one of Manteo at 18-17. However, Williamston just couldn’t keep up with the Redskins late in the game, allowed them to rip off a 6-0 run to seal the deal.
After the game, Rogers said the play of seniors Emily Tadlock, Kirsten Taylor and Clemmons helped make this season a successful one.