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South volleyball sweeps Statesville

By Mike London
mlondon@salisburypost.com
LANDIS ó Taylor May’s 11th kill whistled to the floor between diving Statesville defenders, and South Rowan won another NPC volleyball match Tuesday.
The senior let out a roar that sounded more like Tarzan than Jane and animatedly pounded the air and her black jersey with both fists.
There’s a lot of emotion in volleyball. May, South’s most emotional player and last year’s county player of the year, was excited about a 25-17, 25-17, 25-19 victory.
“We played a lot better on defense today,” May said. “Last week, it was like we forgot how.”
Springy junior Kayla Morrow added nine kills for the Raiders (9-4, 7-4). Molly Garrett had four kills, Taylor Smith piled up service points and senior setter Krista Haywood, a four-year varsity player, was steady as a rock.”Krista makes every bad pass look good,” South coach Jan Dowling said. “We’re not anything without her.”
Dowling, who used to jump around like her hair was on fire, sat calmly as South finally broke open Game 3 on a kill and solo block by Morrow.
“Yeah, I’m calmer now,” Dowling said. “These girls have been around for a while, and they know what they’re expected to do.”
South beat Statesville for the second time. South has gone 7-0 against the bottom five teams in the NPC and won all its county matches, but it’s 0-4 against the league’s top four.
North Iredell has been the best team in the NPC all year, but South has had a legitimate chance to beat everyone else. The Raiders lost 3-2 to West Iredell, Lake Norman and Mooresville their first time through the league.
Dowling said her team had five-point leads late in Game 5s against both Lake Norman and Mooresville, but it couldn’t secure the final points.
“The girls are mad because they know they could have won and believe they should have won those matches,” Dowling said. “We’re quicker than we’ve been. We’re more agile. We’re jumping higher than we’ve ever jumped, and we’re running stuff we never could have thought about running five years ago. We’re close to winning big matches, and they can all feel it.”
South Rowan gets its next shot at one of the power teams in the league when it travels to West Iredell on Thursday.
“We’ve got to push it on through to beat one of the best teams,” May said. “Physically and athletically we’re good enough. Now we’ve just to get it through our heads. We’ve got to get fired up and ball out.”
*
NOTES: May, a 6-footer with good perimeter skills, has attracted recruiting interest for basketball as well as volleyball. Playing basketball for Catawba is a likely scenario. “I hate to give up either sport, but it’s not possible to play both in college,” she said. “Catawba is a place I’d really feel comfortable.” … May hammered out 19 kills in a recent 3-1 victory over Northwest Cabarrus. Haywood had 28 assists and eight kills. Morrow had eight kills and nine digs. Garrett had six digs. … South takes on rival Carson at home next Tuesday.

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