CORNELIUS Hough’s volleyball team continued its roll through the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 4A tournament with a 3-0 quarterfinal win over visiting Charlotte Catholic on Saturday.
The Huskies (31-1) – who won by scores of 25-20, 25-18 and 25-21 – were led by outside hitters Haley Kain (13 kills) and Julia Brown (13 kills), middle hitter Jasmine Lindor (9 kills) and setter Jennifer Hart (30 assists).
Hough entered the match clicking on all cylinders and fresh off avenging last year’s semifinals loss to Ardrey Kell with a 3-0 win in Thursday’s third-round match.
“I think there was maybe a little bit more experience on our side,” said Hough coach Sandi Skidmore. “I think that last year we were at this point and we’re motivated to get back there and go even further this time.”
There was a scary moment in the second game when Kain fell to the court and clutched her right knee with the Huskies leading 19-15. However, after having her injury examined for several minutes on the sideline, Kain returned to the lineup.
Just five service points later, she converted her seventh kill of the match – and fifth of the second game – to the loudest cheers of the match, putting the Huskies up 22-17.
“I could see that my team was concerned,” said Skidmore, “but I got in the huddle and told them, ‘We have 14 girls that can play at anytime, so someone is going to take her spot and we’ll keep on going.’
“It was real big (to get Kain back on the court),” Skidmore continued. “I think it put momentum back on our side. This was probably the best game she’s had all year – by far. She would be my MVP if I had to give one today.”
Sophomore middle hitter Emma Mitchell led Charlotte Catholic (25-3) with 11 kills.
The Huskies, who will play the winner of Mount Tabor (the only team to defeat them this season) and Southern Alamance, have yet to drop a game through four playoff matches.
“Catholic is scrappy and they don’t make mistakes,” said Skidmore. “I told my team (Friday) in practice that we can’t have the lapses that we’ve had in some of the other games because these girls are going to help us out – and they didn’t.”
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