Bunker Hill, East Lincoln also win first matches of the season
Maiden High started its volleyball season on Tuesday night with five players reaching double digits in statistics to highlight a 3-0 victory at Bandys.
The Blue Devils began defense of their South Fork 2A title with wins of 25-21, 25-22 and 25-20 to begin a regular season that will be limited to 14 matches, all of them in league play, because of COVID-19 restrictions.
League matches are limited to 25 fans and only essential personnel because of a mandate by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources (NCDHHS).
Savannah Lail and Anna White led the Blue Devils at Bost-Matheson Gym, each making 11 kills. Lainee Hentschel led Maiden with 18 digs while Adison Ford had 20 assists and Abby Gantt finished with 11 assists and eight digs.
Bandys — 11-11 last year and fourth in the South Fork 2A — dropped to 0-1 and plays at Newton-Conover on Thursday night.
Maiden faces West Lincoln at Maiden on Thursday night.
The Blue Devils finished 13-1 to win last year’s South Fork 2A title, finishing two matches up on East Lincoln and Lake Norman Charter.
Lake Norman Charter was the only conference team to beat Maiden last season, winning at home. After that loss, the Blue Devils (23-5) won eight straight matches before falling 3-0 against West Stokes in the second round of the state playoffs.
East Lincoln 3, Lake Norman Charter 1
In a battle between last season’s teams that tied for second place in the South Fork 2A, the Mustangs rallied to win after host Lake Norman Charter won the opening match 26-24.
East Lincoln then won 25-16, 25-19 and 15-5.
On Thursday night, the Mustangs face Lincolnton on the road and the Knights play at North Lincoln.
Last season, East Lincoln (17-5) and Lake Norman Charter (17-8) each went 11-3 in the South Fork 2A, closing two games behind league champion Maiden and three games ahead of fourth-place Bandys.
Fred T. Foard 3, Patton 0
The Tigers swept the Panthers on the road to start defense of their Northwestern Foothills 2A title.
Foard won in straight sets and faces Bunker Hill in another league match at Foard on Thursday night.
Patton will play a league match on Thursday night at Draughn.
Bunker Hill 3, Hibriten 1
The Bears opened their season with a home victory in the Northwestern Foothills 2A.
Bunker Hill won 25-13, 25-13 after winning the opening match 25-16 and the Panthers winning the second match 25-20.
The victory came in the coaching debut of Kyler Abernathy for the Bears.
Bunker Hill, which started 5-0 last season, goes for a 2-0 start on Thursday night when it travels to defending conference and state 2A champion Fred T. Foard.
South Caldwell 3, Freedom 0
The Spartans started their season with a three-set victory at home over the Patriots.
South Caldwell plays Wednesday night at home in a Northwestern 3A-4A match against Hickory while Freedom next plays on Monday at home against Watauga.
McDowell 3, Alexander Central 2 (Monday)
The Titans won in five sets to open the Northwestern 3A-4A schedule for both teams in Taylorsville.
McDowell won three straight – 25-10, 25-16 and 15-10 – after the Cougars had won 25-15, 25-23.
Gracie Harrington had 10 kills and Layna West had eight kills and three aces to lead Alexander Central. Bryanna Payne led the Cougars with 24 assists and Emily Brown added 11.
McDowell won the junior varsity match 25-23, 25-22, 15-10 despite six kills and 18 digs by the Cougars’ Kenzie Church and 14 digs by Riley Patterson and 13 by Chesney Benton.
McDowell plays at Watauga and Alexander Central battles St. Stephens in Taylorsville on Wednesday night.
Watauga 3, St. Stephens 0
The Pioneers handled the Indians 25-12, 25-12, 25-16 in Hickory to open the season in a Northwestern 3A-4A match.
Watauga rolled to its 56th consecutive conference victory and has a win streak of 51 matches.
The Pioneers won in the return of Kim Pryor as their head coach. She previously coached them from 2001-2010, winning five league titles and guiding eight playoff teams.
Watauga plays at home against McDowell on Wednesday night while St. Stephens will play a league match at Alexander Central.
Lake Norman Charter sweeps
Lake Norman Charter swept a South Fork 2A match at North Lincoln, beating Maiden, Lincolnton and West Lincoln.
The Knights had five of the top nine boys’ times and five of the top six girls’ times.
Lake Norman Charter senior Grant Howlett won the boys’ race and Knights freshman Lilly Yampolsky won the girls’ race.
The next conference matches are Tuesday (all of the season’s races will be at North Lincoln): Lake Norman Charter, Maiden, N. Lincoln and West Lincoln in one race and Bandys, East Lincoln, Lincolnton and Newton-Conover in the other race.
Information for this roundup provided by: Marsha Davis, Maiden head coach; Bethany Kiley, Lake Norman Charter head coach; Jonathan Watts, Alexander Central Sports Information.