There was standing room only at Midway as the top-seeded Raiders hosted No. 2 Camden County in the eastern regional final of the NCHSAA 2-A playoffs Tuesday. But for the second straight year, the Bruins won 3-0 to eliminate Midway from the playoffs and advance to their second straight trip to the state championship. Individual set scores were 25-13, 25-18 and 25-23.
“We didn’t play our best game,” said Midway coach Susan Clark. “And obviously there was a very good team on the other side. They had a couple of hitters and they would swing all across the front line. And our blocking didn’t come around until the second set. Had we been able to get our blocking going in the very beginning, it might have been a different game. But we were just very addled. Wound too tight. Sometimes being undefeated, you don’t know how to fight back and relax and take the next play.”
Junior Morgan Hall had six kills, junior Morgan Naylor had 12 assists, senior Jaycie Byrd had 10 assists and junior McKenzie Williams had 20 digs to lead the Raiders (26-1).
Blair Baggett had five kills, one block and 15 digs and held serve for two points. Kaedyn Moran had five kills, one block and two digs and held serve for three points. Morgan Williams had three kills and 12 digs and held serve for five points. Bella Barefoot had two kills, two blocks and two digs. Kasey Calcutt had two kills and five digs. Byrd had six digs and held serve for two points. Naylor had three digs and held serve for six points. Hall had two digs and one ace on three service points. Samantha Carter had one dig.
Left-handed junior Carlyn Tanis had 23 kills and senior Peyton Carver had 36 assists to lead the Bruins (25-2).
Midway held an early 3-1 lead in the first set when Camden took control of the set with a 10-1 run and held the lead the rest of the way.
Midway led 14-11 in the second set when Camden went on a 14-4 run to take the set.
The third set was close all the way down to the end. With the score tied 23-23, the Bruins won the set on a Tanis kill, assisted by Carver, and a Midway error.
“That’s their tenacity,” Clark said. “They’ve always been fighters. And they’ll be fighters again next year and we’ll claw our way back to the top.”
With the majority of this year’s team expected to return next season, Clark believes Midway will continue to be successful.
“Definitely looking for some big things next year,” Clark said. “Got the foundations still. Missing maybe one or two spots. And we’ll just hit the offseason and work and fill those spots.
Camden County will meet west No. 1 McMichael (36-3) in the state championship match Saturday at Reynolds Coliseum in Raleigh.