Since 2010, Hough and Hopewell have developed quite a rivalry on the volleyball court.
Yet that rivalry has gone decidedly in the Huskies’ favor the past four years, and Tuesday’s N.C. public schools playoff match was no exception.
Hough extended its winning streak over the Titans to 14 matches by taking a 3-1 victory in the second round of the NCHSAA 4A state playoffs.
Led by their front line of Kristy Mundy, Megan Perry and Makaylah Elliot, the fifth-seeded Huskies (24-3) won their 15th straight match – 25-20, 25-14, 20-25 and 25-21 – and fourth this season over 12th-seeded Hopewell (21-6).
“Playing a team like that is always going to be a tough one,” Hough coach Sandi Skidmore said. “The momentum’s going to switch because it’s such a competitive game and a rivalry.
“We’re all friends, but they want to beat us and we want to beat them. It kind of stinks that we have to play them so many times, especially so early (in the playoffs).”
Mundy led the Huskies – who face fourth-seeded Myers Park in a third-round match Thursday – with 16 kills. Perry added 10 kills, the last coming on match point, and Elliot had four blocks. Dakoda Hawkins had 31 assists.
“We have a big disadvantage this year because of our size,” Titans coach Rhonda Auman said. “Our tallest player is 5-foot-10, and we’ve only got one. When you’re going up against girls that are 6-2 and 6-6, swinging away like they do, it’s tough.
“They’ve got a great team, and I take nothing from them. They played their hearts out. But we had a lot of kids out there playing taped up and hurting. What else can you ask from your kids?”
Yet it was Hopewell’s own mistakes that cost them dearly – 23 points lost on errors – in the first two games in falling behind 2-0. The Titans got some of the match’s momentum going their way in the third game, but Hough wrested it back by jumping out to a 13-6 lead in the final game.
Morgan Howder had nine kills and Marissa Morgan eight kills for the Titans.