Southside falls to South Creek in five sets

Published 6:47 pm Tuesday, September 25, 2018

CHOCOWINITY — Perhaps rusty from not having played in 14 days, the Southside volleyball team got off to a sluggish start yesterday against South Creek, but the Seahawks battled back to push the Cougars to five sets before eventually losing, 18-25, 25-21, 14-25, 25-15, 12-15.

South Creek (8-4, 2-2 1A Coastal Plains Conference) quickly built a 9-4 lead over Southside (5-5, 1-1 1A Coastal Plains Conference) in the opening set and the Seahawks were never able to close the gap to less than three points. It looked like Southside might rally in the first set after Jacqueline Wood spiked the ball to bring the Seahawks with five points late in the set, causing the Southside crowd and bench to get loud. But the Cougars didn’t waver and calmly closed the set out.

“We started off a little slow today. We’ve only had one practice since our last game (before Hurricane Florence),” Southside head coach Atyana Starkie said. “We didn’t really know how we were going to look going into it because they’ve (the Seahawk players) have been home. We started off slow but we picked it up after a while.”

And pick it up they did, as the Seahawks took the second set, 25-21, powered by the play of Wood, the team’s setter, and Darah Cole, who was effective at the net winning points.

“I tell them (Wood and Cole) all the time ‘every chance we get to set it up and kill it, we can.’ So they were a key role because they got a lot of kills off of that side,” Starkie said. “So that kind of gave them a little bit of encouragement, like ‘ok, we can do this.’”

The third and fourth sets were mirror-opposites of each other, as South Creek took control of the third set midway through to win 25-14, and Southside did likewise in the fourth to win 25-15.

In the decisive fifth set, the Cougars stormed out to take a 5-1 lead, prompting Starkie to call a timeout to rally her troops. The Seahawks responded by coming out of the break and tying the score at 5-5, before South Creek went on another run to take a 10-6 lead. With its back against the wall, Southside rallied again, making the score 13-12 in the Cougars’ favor, but with the Seahawks serving. But Southside ran out of steam, hitting the serve out of bounds and then losing the next point to lose the match.

Southside returns to action tomorrow, hosting the Tarboro Vikings (1-8, 0-3 1A Coastal Plains Conference), who the Seahawks defeated in three sets on Sept. 4.