Surry volleyball hopes to contend in Region X Tournament

Dobson, NC – November 5, 2015.

Having utilized the past week to work on several changes to its lineup, Surry Community College hopes to make some noise in this weekend’s Region X Volleyball Tournament at Pitt Community College in Winterville.

After a red-hot 20-3 start to the season, the Knights slumped down the stretch, losing five of its last nine contests. One of those was a tough five-set loss last Saturday at Lenoir Community College in which Surry (24-8, 10-6 Region X) dropped a 15-12 heartbreaker in the fifth and final set. The No. 4 seed Knights will get a chance at redemption Friday at 2 p.m., however, as it will face off again with the fifth-seeded Lancers.

“We’ve had a rough couple of weeks, but we’ve made some lineup changes,” Surry volleyball coach Jan Marion-Kiser said. “We’ve moved our setter Morgan Hawks to libero. She kind of fits there and understands we need passes to run our offense. We moved Cassie Palmer to right-side hitter. She is picking up balls there that were always falling into the black hole on the right side. Her defense is able to pick up those tips and she is able to fall back deep in that corner.”

At the net, standout outside hitter Haley Hartman now has Kacie Markle back at the other outside hitter spot after she missed several games due to an injury. Markle has continued to be one of the leading hitters on the team as far as kills. Surry also was without the services of middle hitter Sidney Shelton, who missed a couple of contests due to a death in the family. But now everybody is back and Marion-Kiser is hopeful the Knights can make a run in the Region X Tournament.

“We missed Sidney in the middle, but now that she is back we have everything back together for blocking and every other aspect. We are playing good ball. We made some changes in offense and defense, which I think for the most part are good changes that will help give us that extra push we need,” Marion-Kiser said. “When we played Lenoir last Saturday, that was the first time we had played with those changes and we had girls adjusting to new roles. I think after practicing with it for a week, these girls have everything nailed down. We are fairly evenly matched with Lenoir and we split during the regular season. I want to see us finish the tournament with a win and keep advancing.”

With a win Friday, Surry would advance to Saturday’s semifinals, also at Pitt CC, against the winner of top-seeded Catawba Valley Community College and No. 8 seed Guilford Tech Community College at 10 a.m. The other semifinal will pit the winners of #2 Cape Fear CC and #7 Wake Tech CC against victors of #3 Pasco Hernandez State College and #6 Brunswick CC. The Region X Championship game will be held 30 minutes after the 12 p.m. semifinal ends. The winner of the Region X Tournament will advance to the national tournament.

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