Starmount and East Wilkes volleyball are headed to round two of the 1A state tournament following big wins on Saturday afternoon.
Starmount (14-10) kicked things off with a 3-0 sweep of Robbinsville to advance to the second round of the tournament for the second-straight year. Despite it being a sweep, their wins didn’t come easy, as a combination of mental lapses, and their opponent not ready to end their season prematurely led to some tight play early. In the first two sets especially, Starmount looked shaky at times but once they focused in, they meant business.
“You’re dealing with a lot of kids, some, who have never played in the state playoffs before. The biggest thing was to calm your nerves, which took us a little bit of time,” Starmount Head Coach Jon Symons said.
Starmount won the first two sets 25-16 and 25-19, and by the end of the second set, things were starting to click. In the deciding set, the Rams opened up with 12 straight points which was simply insurmountable for a 25-14 win.
“At this point, we know if we lose, we’re done,” Starmount senior Ashley Johnson said. “There at the end, when we pushed the lead out and got our subs in, that’s big because it shows we worked hard enough to get everybody in, and that’s something we need to learn how to do every game.”
They hit the road to Davidson to play Community School of Davidson (20-2) on Tuesday at 7 p.m. As they advance to the next round, they know that the teams are only going to get tougher to beat. For themselves, they have to be tougher to beat and improve every single week if they want to continue on the run they’ve had.
“As long as we’re giving of ourselves as far as effort, and just leaving it on the floor, and not be afraid,” Symons said. “Not be afraid to lose. We’re definitely going to be the underdog… but this is where we got to last year, hopefully we can get a step further.”
The only common opponent for the two teams this season has been East Wilkes, who CSD swept both times this season. East Wilkes had their work cut out for them, because their loss to Starmount last week meant they’d have to travel to Mount Gilead to play West Montgomery Saturday night. West Montgomery jumped out to a 1-0 lead, but East Wilkes (11-10) simply said this wasn’t going to be their last match of the year, winning the final three sets. They move on to play at Rosman (18-3) Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
All results will be posted online at elkintribune.com when they become available.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.