The Sandhills Community College volleyball team overcame a 2-1 deficit at Davidson County CC on Wednesday and brought home a 24-26, 25-16, 18-25, 25-19 and 15-11 victory.
Outside hitter Morrigan Denman led the late surge, finishing with 14 kills, 23 digs and four service aces as the Lady Flyers improved to 2-3. On the opposite side, teammate Christen Clontz also came on strong in the final two sets and was credited with 11 kills.
Coach Alicia Riggan's squad heads to Perrysburg, Ohio on Thursday for a total of four matches on Friday and Saturday that are a part of the 28-team Owens Invitational.
"I'm proud of them for coming back and taking that fifth set," Riggan said afterward. "We've just got to pick it up and figure out how to be more consistent because this was not the level of play we'll need to be successful in Ohio."
Playing without middle hitter Carley Modlin (foot injury), the Flyers led 23-21 in the opening set before two service errors helped the home team score five of the final six points. The Storm scored the first point of the second, but the Flyers never trailed after that on the way to knotting up the match.
Tied at 17-17 in the third set, the Storm scored eight of the next nine points to take the 2-1 lead.
The Flyers fell behind 4-0 in the fourth and Riggan called a time out. It was 5-0 when a kill at the net and two service aces by Lowe helped tie it up at 5-5. Later, leading 19-17, Denman had three kills, and Khaile Jones and Adison Campbell were also forces at the net as the Flyers won going away to send the match to a tie-breaker set.
"My team kept feeding me the ball and I took care of it," Denman, a product of Seventy-First High School said. "We wanted this one for Carley because she's one of our best hitters and one of the leaders on the team."
A service ace by Lowe, and a kill by Clontz, accounted for the first two points of the 15-point tie-breaker. Leading 4-3, Campbell set up Denman for kills on the next three Flyer points and the margin eventually grew to an insurmountable, for the Storm,13-5.
"Morrigan has awesome hang time," Riggan said. "She wants the ball and has the confidence to put it down."
Williams, a Southern Alamance grad, went airborne twice to keep balls alive in the final set.
"I don't like to lose at all," she said. "If you love this game you never give up. We really played hard and definitely showed that we can play together as a team."
Riggan liked her team's reaction to having its back against the wall in a partisan environment.
"They (Storm) had a good crowd and their basketball players were chanting and getting them excited," she said. "Especially in a small gym like this, it can be very daunting for the opposing team. I'm glad the girls were up to the challenge."
When the Flyers complete their four games in Ohio they will have opened the season with nine matches in 10 days. Friday's schedule includes Lorain County (2-1) at 11:45 a.m. and Columbus State (2-0) at 3:15 p.m. On Saturday they
play 2018 National Champion Owens (5-0) at 11:45 a.m. and Henry Ford of Dearborn, Mich (0-5) at 3:15 p.m..
"It's going to be a long ride to Ohio and a long ride home," said Williams who has relatives living in the Buckeye state. "I'm excited and hopefully we'll bring home some victories."
An X-ray of Modlin's foot was negative. It is hoped that both she and Sarah Faulk, who turned an ankle during the third set, will be available to play this weekend.