Surry Community College’s volleyball team continued its hot start with a three-set win Wednesday at Greensboro College to improve to 6-0.
Having opened the season with five straight wins, the Lady Knights faced their biggest challenge against the NCAA Division III Greensboro Pride. But like it has done all season, Surry answered the bell with a 25-21, 25-21, 25-19 victory.
“Being a Division III NCAA school, they have a lot of talent. We sized up pretty well with them, which I was excited about,” Surry head coach Jan Marion-Kiser said. “They had girls who could take big swings. We came out down 4-0 in the opening set, but we quickly made some adjustments and figured out we would have to step up and play the best we have played this season. These girls truly come with a mentality of there is no choice but to win, and it’s nice to see have kids that are all on the same page.”
SCC got a huge night from its front line as Haley Hartman led the team with 13 kills, while Kacie Markle and Morgan Hawks each had eight. Sidney Shelton contributed five kills, Jessi Marion had four, Kaitlin Kidd added two and Cheyenne Kota had one.
“We had to play big against Greensboro. The thing that impresses me the most, my setter (Morgan Hawks) was even up there with kills. Our Libero was the only one without a kill,” Marion-Kiser said. “Every hitter made a contribution.”
While Hawks got in on the hitting action, she also had a huge game at setter with 22 assists. Kidd chipped in three more. Defensively, the Knights were able to make strong rallies, allowing the offense to find holes in the floor on the other side, Marion-Kiser said.
Aside from leading the team in kills, Hartman also paced Surry with 23 digs. Cassidy Palmer had 14 digs, Hawks had 12 and Markle had 11 to lead an incredibly-balanced effort. Brittany Zeller tallied seven digs, Marion had three, Kota and Kidd each had two, and Shelton added another.
“Every person on this team that got to play contributed something on defense, which was huge for us. That is amazing to have your entire team picking up balls like that,” Marion-Kiser said. “Defensively we were very sound.”
Marion paced SCC at the net with two solo blocks and four block assists. Shelton recorded a block, Hartman had two block assists, and Markle and Hawks both had a block assist.
“I could not ask for a better overall game. We have been working hard on our spot serving,” Marion-Kiser said. “I have to give credit to (assistant coach) Brittany Tolbert for that. We’ve gotten these girls to go outside their comfort zone and hit their spots. Our service game was a big factor in the win.”
The Knights picked up two more wins Aug. 29 in Sanford, knocking off Central Carolina and Patrick Henry Community College in three sets each. Surry got the day started with a 25-7, 25-17, 25-8 throttling of Central Carolina.
“We played really well. It was the first game we got to use everybody in our lineup, and everybody played big,” Marion-Kiser said. “It was a complete team effort.”
Markle led the way for SCC with seven kills, while Shelton threw down six. Palmer paced the team with 12 digs, Markle contributed eight and Hartman had seven.
“Everybody contributed. Every person on the team got to be a part of the win, which was huge for us,” Surry’s coach said.
The Knights followed that win up later in the day with a 25-16, 25-18, 25-18 victory over first-year program Patrick Henry.
“They were tough. They took some big swings at us. For them to be a first-year program, they have done a great job recruiting and bringing in girls who can play,” Marion-Kiser said.
Hawks had another huge game, leading Surry with 26 assists. Markle led the team with 12 kills, Hartman had 10, while Kidd, Shelton and Marion all had four.
“Defensively we were really good,” Marion-Kiser said.
Palmer (12) and Hartman (11) both cracked double figures in digs, while Markle had seven, Hawks contributed six, and Zeller had five.
“These girls work so hard together as a team. They have a really good bond right now,” Marion-Kiser said. “If they can stay healthy and keep the same mindset they have now, they will do some big things this season.”