Eagles soar to Region Final
SHILOH — North Dorchester high’s volleyball team earned the school’s first-ever trip to the volleyball 1A East Region Finals with a four-set victory over Colonel Richardson Wednesday, Nov. 9.
The Eagles improved to 11-6 on the season with the 25-16, 24-26, 25-21, 25-20 victory, and will visit Perryville on Friday in the regional final for a chance to make the state final four.
“It is just an awesome feeling being able to come from a brand new program three years ago to sectional champions,” said North Dorchester head coach Carol Hubbard. “It is just amazing.
“I’m so proud of these girls for how hard they have worked and the success they have brought to the team and the school this season,” she added. “It was a tough match against a great Colonel
Richardson team, but the girls continued to battle, kept positive and got a huge win tonight.”
The Eagles trailed Colonel 10-3 early in the first set, but went on a 22-6 run to win the set. Georgie Turner and Jenna Usilton had three aces a piece during the first set.
In the second set, North Dorchester led 24-18, but the Colonels rallied behind the serve of Rachel Jessee for a come-from-behind 2624 win to even the match at 1-1.
The Eagles notched a win in the third set with kills from Savanna Nossick, Myasia Jones and Kathryn Allen.
North Dorchester trailed 9-2 in the fourth set, but began to chip away behind the serve of Leann Asplen. A kill by Nossick tied the score at 10-10. Nossick capped a four-point run with a kill to make it 21-16 for the Eagles. Brooke Harding ended the match with a strong spike to send North Dorchester to the region final.
The Eagles earned the program’s first-ever playoff victory Monday by beating 2015 1A East Region finalist Pocomoke in four sets, 2520, 25-10, 25-27, 25-16.
“It feels great to get that first volleyball playoff win for the school, and this program,” Hubbard said after Monday’s win. “This is only our third season, and we have improved tremendously each year.
Jones led the Eagles with 10 kills Monday, and nine of her teammates added at least one kill each. Turner recorded a team-high seven aces with Asplen adding five aces and Usilton notching four.
The Eagles trailed 5-1 in the first set, but Asplen fired four straight aces to give North Dorchester a 6-5 lead. The Eagles and Warriors traded points up to the Eagles leading 14-13. North Dorchester then went on a 5-1 run for a 19-14 bulge, with Jones recording two kills and Usilton adding two aces.
Pocomoke closed to 22-20, but the Eagles netted the final three points, including kills from Turner and Jones to win the first set.
North Dorchester dominated the second set, jumping to a 13-6 lead. The Eagles then scored 13 of the final 17 points to go ahead 2-0 in the match.
Hubbard credited Asplen, Jones and Turner for controlling the tempo in the Eagles’ favor.
“For being probably the shortest person on the court, Leann has played huge, especially at the net,” Hubbard said. “I think a lot of people probably look at her and take her for grant- ed, but she gets up there against those big girls.
“She has beautiful sets, and is smart about where she places the ball,” Hubbard added. “Her and Myasia worked so well together tonight. Leann made many sets for Myasia, and Myasia delivered for big kills.
“Leann and Georgie did a great job of controlling the pace of the game,” Hubbard continued. “Georgie is just a good, all-around player. We have used her as a setter every year. She does fabulous on the back row.”
In the third set, Pocomoke went up 17-11, but the Eagles chipped away at the deficit. Three kills by Jones from Asplen, and an ace by Talicia Elliott gave north Dorchester an 18-17 lead.
The Warriors fought back and went up 22-20. The Eagles tied the score at 22-22 with a kill by Turner and an ace by Jones. Facing elimination, Pocomoke tied the score at 25-25 on match point, then added two more points to take the third set, 27-25.
The Eagles did not let the lost set bring them down, and they took control early in the fourth.
Leading 10-8, the Eagles went on a 15-8 run to close out the match. During the flourish, Lindsey Bradley, Kathryn Allen added a kill a piece, and Usilton and Brooke Harding scored two aces each.
“The biggest difference this year has been the girls’ attitudes,” Hubbard said. “They do not give up, no matter the situation, on a single match, on a single game or on a single point.
“I’m really lucky to have a team of girls that are just good athletes that are not necessary a one-position player,” Hubbard added. “I have a lot of girls that can play all around the court. That gives me flexibility.”
North Dorchester’s Brooke Harding serves against Colonel Richardson during Wednesday’s playoff victory by the Eagles. Harding scored the winning point to end the match.
North Dorchester’s Myasia Jones spikes the ball for a point against Colonel Richardson during Wednesday’s playoff victory by the Eagles.
North Dorchester’s Georgie Turner sets the ball for a teammate against Colonel Richardson during Wednesday’s playoff victory by the Eagles.