Top-seeded Midway overwhelmed visiting No. 8 Nash Central in straight sets Thursday to advance to the fourth round of the NCHSAA 2-A state volleyball playoffs for the second straight year. Individual set scores were 25-13, 25-12 and 25-13.
“Totally different atmosphere (from Tuesday),” said Midway coach Susan Clark. “There was a peace about us tonight. Tuesday, we came out and they were so wired and hyped and so excited that they couldn’t keep their feet on the floor to play ball. Tonight, they were a little less wired and we all had a peace about us, and they played very well.”
Senior Blair Baggett had 12 kills, one assist, three blocks, six digs and two aces on six service points, junior Morgan Hall had nine kills, two digs and three aces on five service points and junior Morgan Naylor had one kill, 23 assists, five digs and three aces on six service points to lead the Raiders (25-0).
After struggling with service errors in the match against Seaforth on Tuesday, Clark said Midway’s serve was a major factor in the win Thursday. Junior Morgan Williams had three aces on 12 service points and senior Jaycie Byrd had two aces on 14 service points to lead Midway at the line.
“We had a long practice with serving yesterday,” Clark said. “But these girls know how to serve. It was all mental. We just geared them down and just made them focus on their basic skills and what they know how to do.”
Clark also said Midway’s blocking at the net disrupted Nash Central’s offense. Freshman Kaedyn Moran led the Raiders with five blocks.
“We knew where we needed to focus,” Clark said. “We did our homework. So, we had pegged what we needed to do and (Moran) did it. She was very big on the net for us tonight.”
Bella Barefoot had seven kills, one assist and four digs. Morgan Williams had five kills and five digs. Samantha Carter had four kills and one dig. Moran had three kills, two digs and one ace on five service points. Byrd had 13 assists and one dig. McKenzie Williams had two assists and 10 digs and held serve for two points. Mallory Baggett had four digs.
Senior Camryn Eley had five kills and three blocks, sophomore Dana Webb had four kills and senior Kiara Vidurrizaga had 14 assists to lead the Bulldogs (19-6).
After Midway dominated the first two sets, Central opened the third set on a 6-2 run, forcing Midway to call a timeout. But coming out of the break, the Raiders scored nine unanswered points and controlled the remainder of the match.
Midway is at home against No. 4 Whiteville (21-2) on Saturday. The Raiders and Wolfpack met during the regular season at Whiteville on Aug. 29, with Midway winning 3-1.