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High risers

CHINA GROVE — Telling a guy he throws like a girl is still an insult, but telling a girl she jumps like a guy is a serious compliment.
Carson’s Madison Weast gets told frequently in her P.E. class that she has hops like a guy, although the reality is that she is springier than some frogs. Most males would be thrilled to have Weast’s 29-inch vertical jump.
Weast, who has noticeable hang-time, soared again on Tuesday in the second round of the 3A playoffs, and fellow senior Michaela White was diversified and spectacular in a 25-16, 25-13 and 25-11 trouncing of visiting Newton Fred T. Foard.
“I haven’t seen anyone play like White played today against us,” Foard coach Alison Yount said.
Halloween is just around the corner, so little girls in southern Rowan may be doing their trick-or-treating dressed up as a Carson volleyball player.
No. 8 Weast costumes and No. 13 White costumes probably would out-sell Wonder Womans and Snow Whites in China Grove this year.
At 31-0, the Cougars are starting to take on rock-star status, although coach Kelan Rogers wasn’t exactly elated with their latest effort.
“More bad passes than we’ve had in a month and more hitting errors than we’ve had in a month,” Rogers said glumly. “Definitely not our best performance. Hopefully, it was just one of those nights. Hopefully, we got it out of our system.”
Rogers didn’t have any report cards to hand out, but if he had, there would’ve been some C-minuses.
“We were OK, but we shoulda stepped it up more than we did,” senior hitter Hannah Elmore said.
Added Weast, “We weren’t great, but we still won a playoff game by a big margin. I’m not complaining.”
White appeared to defy gravity at times, but she shook her head when asked if she was satisfied.
“We had a lot of kills and the scores will look good, but we weren’t that focused,” she said. “We got to a certain point and just cruised.”
White pounded 18 kills and served three aces in Game 2 alone. She set, she blocked, she jump-served, and she was all over the place.
Elena Turnbull made the play of the match, a diving fist-save heading out of bounds that Weast promptly turned into an emphatic kill.
Libero Laura Vaughn keyed Carson’s back row and service return.
The Pruett girls had a hand in ending two games. Tori served gamepoint in the middle game, and Amanda had the kill for match point.
Elmore, who started fast, finished with 10 “Hannah Time” kills. Weast had nine kills and shared three blocks with setter Morgan Hester, who had 18 assists.
“She’s not as tall as I am, but Morgan gets up there on those blocks,” Weast said.
Hester is the daughter of former Catawba football coach Chip Hester and Trish Hester, who got Carson’s volleyball program started.
Foard started great, with Emily Simpson pounding an ace to begin the match. Unfortunately for the Tigers, they still needed 74 more points. That ace was the only time Foard led all evening.
“We knew Carson was really strong and knew we’d have to play our best,” Yount said. “But we never got into any kind of groove. We were making so many mistakes, it was like we were playing against ourselves.”
It gets harder for the Cougars. On Thursday, Carson hosts South Iredell (23-2).
“They’re good, but that helps us,” Rogers said. “We get up for the tough ones.”

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