Lady Flyers Look to Rebound Against the Storm in Tuesday's Student Night Encounter

Photo by Donna Ford
Photo by Donna Ford

The Sandhills CC volleyball team (1-2) entertains long-time rival Davidson County CC (0-0) at 6 p.m. on Tuesday on Student Night at the Hangar.

There will be free pizza for the first 25 students and the men's and women's track and field teams will be recognized for their top 10 finishes and individual awards earned at last spring's NJCAA Division III National Championships.

"Davidson has always been a rival for us in both volleyball and basketball," Lady Flyers' coach Alicia Riggan says. "Now that they are DII I'm not sure if that will continue, but they always bring a good team and lots of energy. 

"We're excited about the opportunity to bounce back from Friday night.  Hopefully since it's during the week, we will get some of our student body out cheering in the stands."

 In a tri-match at the Hangar on Friday, the Flyers dropped a pair of 3-1 decisions to Division I Richard Bland CC (VA) and Marshalltown CC (IA). In Friday's middle game Marshalltown defeated Bland 3-1. 

In the afternoon match against a tall Richard Bland squad, Lilli Inman was credited with 11 kills and 10 digs in a 19-25, 26-24, 12-25 and 23-25 loss. Also for the home team, libero Shaedyn Housh had 22 digs and setter Abby Wallace logged 22 assists and eight digs.

"I thought our girls were totally shocked at first by Richard Bland's powerful hitters," Riggan said. "But they stayed focused and we were neck and neck before we lost five quick points (midway through the third set). That was a game-changer."

Playing in their third match in just over 24 hours, the Flyers were at their best in the third and fourth sets of an 18-25, 15-25, 25-19 and 20-25 loss against a Marshalltown squad that lost only two out of 17 sets during its five match southern tour that concluded with a 3-0 sweep of Fayetteville Tech on Saturday. 

Trailing 2-0, Mashburn, Chelsea Green and Tee'Ashia Lilly had some key kills, and Wallace was the playmaker down the stretch of the third-set win. The Flyers led 17-7 in the fourth before the Iowans rallied to close out the match. 

Housh was credited with 38 digs and Wallace had 38 assists to go with 10 digs. Inman led the team with nine kills and also had 12 digs. 

"We came out in the fourth set with a lot of energy and it was exciting to see that," Riggan said moments after the end of the match. "I don't know if we let our guard down, but we didn't finish what we started. There is no reason why we are not playing in a fifth set right now."

Riggan thinks Bland and Marshalltown could be the top two teams the Flyers will face all season.  

"I think we did a lot of great things and I think we learned a lot of great things," the coach said. "And we did a lot of things better than we did on Thursday at Guilford Tech (3-1 win). We are still trying to figure out our rotations and who is going to do what."  

The Marshalltown match ended at about 10:15 p.m. In not too many hours the players and coaches were due back at the gym for a 7 a.m. Saturday practice. 

"There will probably be a lot of icing and relaxing," Wallace said of her plans for before and after the practice. "We now know what we have to do in practice to get better and to be able to finish."

Marshalltown is approximately 1,100 miles from Southern Pines via Route 74. Classes do not begin at the college until next week. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, Coach Justin Hoskins was the head coach at Brunswick CC in 2014 and 2015. The original plan was to play Brunswick, but the school dropped its volleyball program and the matches at Sandhills were arranged. 

"It's been a good trip so far, but it's been a long trip." Hoskins said.