CORNELIUS Hough earned redemption with a dash of revenge in the third round of the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 4A volleyball tournament.
The Huskies stormed past Ardrey Kell 3-0 on Thursday at Hough in a rematch of last years semifinals, a result that served as an incentive and inspiration for an entire year.
This is a game we were ready for, Hough coach Sandi Skidmore said. They wanted revenge, I guess you could say, but its more redemption because we didnt give a good showing down there last year.
Hough (30-1) was focused from the start, mixing the power of senior outside hitter Julia Brown, who led the Huskies with 15 kills and 11 digs, and middle hitter Jazmine Lindor, who accounted for seven kills. Setter Jennifer Hart handed out a game-high 30 assists and put the Huskies in position to use their strength and size at the net, challenging Ardrey Kell (19-10) to compensate.
Coming back from last year, we knew they had a great team and we beat them once and they went on to win the state championship, Brown said. This year when we played them we had a lot of intensity and the second time we played them we knew we had to come back with the same amount of intensity.
Hough breezed through the first set with a 25-19 win, but Ardrey Kell rebounded in the second with a 9-1 run to take a 9-3 lead that forced Skidmore to burn a timeout. The Huskies responded with a 14-2 rally that swung the momentum for good, with Hart serving for six straight points on the way to a 25-15 win.
I got on them a little bit in the huddle because sometimes we get complacent, Skidmore said. We drew up a play, they put it away and we just started from there. They wanted it enough to come back.
Said Ardrey Kell coach Rick Kiser: We just couldnt pass the ball. That made it hard to get an offense running from there. Theyre a great team. They played tough, they served tough. They never let up.
Ardrey Kell, paced by Elizabeth Kaeser (12 kills, five digs) and Lily Duggan (27 assists), climbed to within 14-11 in the third set, but Houghs efficient mix of offense and defense was overwhelming. Brown hammered home the final point in a 25-16 win.
Its very satisfying, she said. Theyre a great team and its a good win for us. Were excited to be going to the fourth round.
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