Surry wins three in Region X Extravaganza

Dobson, NC – September 8, 2015.

Surry Community College’s volleyball team suffered its first loss of the season Saturday, but the Knights still won three of four Region X games over the weekend to improve to 9-1 overall.

Opening region play Friday in the two-day Region X Extravaganza at Catawba Valley Community College, Surry (9-1, 3-1 Region X) defeated Wake Tech and Brunswick on Friday to move to 8-0 before losing in five sets Saturday to Cape Fear Community College. The Lady Knights bounced back in the second contest of the day Saturday with a four-set victory over Pitt Community College.

“This is the best start we’ve had in a long time. I feel like we have such a good group of girls this year. It’s not one individual that makes this team better, it’s all 10 girls that contribute to making this team as successful as it’s been,” Surry volleyball coach Jan Marion-Kiser said. “I expect big things out of them.”

The Knights opened Region X play Friday with a 25-20, 25-14, 25-18 victory over Wake Tech. Morgan Hawks had 23 assists and six digs, while Haley Hartman had 14 digs and four kills. Kacie Markle added 11 kills and 11 digs. Cassie Palmer had 15 digs, Brittany Zeller had five and Cheyenne Kota and Kaitlin Kidd each had three. Jessi Marion had four kills and two digs and Sidney Shelton added six kills.

“We struggled with Wake Tech the past two years because they have been really strong with a good-sized front line. But defensively I thought we were really good. Everybody contributed on defense,” Marion-Kiser said.

SCC followed it up later Friday with a three-set victory over Brunswick Community College. Hartman and Palmer both had 13 digs, while Hawks came up big again passing with 17 assists and seven digs. Hartman led Surry with five kills, while Markle had four kills and eight digs. Shelton had five digs from

the hitter position to go along with three kills, while Kota had four kills and a dig, Marion had two kills and a dig and Kidd had two kills.

“I felt like we served really well. Anytime our defense and serving game are going hand and hand and working together, I see my girls play totally different,” Marion-Kiser said. “Friday was a really good day for us as far as distributing the ball. Every hitter had a chance to make a contribution, which was big.”

Shelton had five block assists, Kidd added four and Kota had another for 10 total. Marion also had a solo block.

“I was very impressed with how we played,” Surry’s coach said. “This was possibly the best season opener for us in a long time to open region play.”

But after sweeping its first eight opponents in three sets, Surry lost its first contest of the season Saturday 22-25, 25-18, 25-11, 23-25, 15-11 to Cape Fear. The Knights put up some big numbers in the loss, with Hartman tallying 40 digs and 12 kills and Hawks recording 36 assists and 29 digs. Markle added 13 kills and 16 digs, Kidd had 10 kills and five digs, and Palmer contributed 22 digs.

“To me a five-set game is so much harder of a loss than 3-0. You push so hard to go five sets, and to come up a little short leaves a little sting, but we realize now we could have done some things better,” Marion-Kiser said. “Serving-wise we have to learn in situations like this our serving has to be spot on. I don’t know if girls got a little nervous, but we just didn’t hit the serves like we normally do.”

After dropping the first set 25-23 to Pitt in the second contest Saturday, Surry rallied to win the next three 25-14, 25-11, 25-17 to get back on track. Perhaps rattled from the loss earlier in the day, Marion-Kiser said the Knights got adjusted after the opening set with Pitt.

“We had to go back to the drawing board and start the second set with a little more energy. We had girls that played really good,” she said. “I think from the loss to Cape Fear, we were still trying to put things into perspective.”

Hawks again had a big game with 32 assists and 13 digs. Palmer added 24 digs, while Markle had a double-double with 15 digs and 12 kills. Hartman added 10 kills, Shelton had eight, Kidd added seven and Marion chipped in four. Kota and Hawks each had three kills. Kidd tallied three assists and three digs for Surry, while Kota had one assist and one dig. Shelton threw down eight kills to go along with three digs. Hartman also had 17 digs and Zeller had one.

“Once we got past that first set I think the big thing for us was just getting back to playing our game. We started playing better,” Marion-Kiser said. “I never want to us to lose a game, but we will take that loss right now and it’s something we can learn from. Every game we go into now knowing it’s huge for us. I would like to see us finish atop the region. We just have to keep building and pushing these girls to play the best they have ever played.”

Surry will be back in action Sept. 10 at Louisburg before hosting Lenoir Community College at home on Saturday, Sept. 12.

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