KINSTON, N.C. — Walters State's volleyball team advanced to the NJCAA District O Tournament semifinal round Friday night with a four-set victory over Wake Technical on the Lenoir Community College campus in Eastern North Carolina.
The Lady Senators had defeated Wake Tech in straight sets back on Sept. 8 in a road match against the Eagles, but Wake made it a little tougher this time around, taking the third set to avoid a sweep and nearly played Walters State to the limit in two other games out of the four. In the end though, the Lady Senators walked out of the gym with a 25-16, 25-23, 15-25 and 25-22 victory to end Wake Tech's season.
Walters State (21-8) recorded 36 kills in the match, with 11 coming in the opening set and a dozen more in the second. Things slowed down in the final two frames, as the Lady Senators notched 5 kills in the third and 8 more in the fourth to close out the match.
Kaley Muncy led WSCC with 11 kills in the match, while Micayla Vallie added 9 kills and Mckenzie Jenkins tallied 7 kills in the win. Courtney Dotson chipped in 5 kills and Sydney Hurd had 4 in the contest.
Of the 32 assists dished out by the Lady Senators, half came from Dotson, who notched 16 and Hurd added 13, while five players had double-digit digs, led by Vallie with 31. Hayley Wolfe added 16 digs, while Lexi Wakefield had 15, Dotson tallied 13 and Hurd had a dozen in the win.
Muncie added 3 blocks and 3 assisted blocks, while Jenkins and Vallie both had a pair of assisted blocks in the victory.
Shaelyn Squeri led the Eagles with 11 kills, while Timia Grant, Hanna Howell and Kali Murray each added 7 kills in the contest. Breelyn Clark notched 26 assists and 21 digs, while Lauren Slusher had 25 digs, Squeri added 24 digs, Howell tallied 20 digs, Grant added 17 and Murray had 14 in the loss. Grant added 3 blocks and Howell had 2 in the defeat.
In the other matchups Friday, top-seeded Catawba Valley (30-9) rolled to a three-set win over eighth-seeded Lenoir (8-12), taking down the host 25-14, 25-19 and 25-20. Second-seeded Surry (19-4) had to go four sets to defeat seventh-seeded Cape Fear (8-9), winning 29-27, 19-25, 25-21 and 25-23. Fourth-seeded Pitt (17-5) took down fifth-seeded Louisburg (14-11) in five grueling sets, winning 25-21, 16-25, 25-19, 24-26 and 15-13.
Saturday's semifinals will take place beginning at 10 a.m. with Catawba Valley battling Pitt in the opener, while Walters State will take on Surry, a team the Lady Senators defeated in five sets on Sept. 1, in the second semifinal scheduled at noon.
The two winners will battle in the championship match at 2 p.m. for a spot in the NJCAA Division II Volleyball Championship Tournament to be contested Nov. 15-17 at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia.