DUBLIN — Croatan High came into The Castle at West Bladen High on Saturday and stunned the Lady Knights in the first round of the state’s Class 2-A volleyball playoffs.
The Lady Cougars swept West Bladen by the scores of 25-20, 25-23 and 25-23.
The loss concludes the season for West Bladen with a record of 13-5, while Croatan advances into the second round with a 12-8 mark.
The Lady Knights opened the match with leads of 4-2 and 9-5 before the Lady Cougars went on a 12-3 spurt for a 19-13 edge.They finished the game by holding off a surging West Bladen, which had pulled to within 21-20, to seal the five-point win.
In the second game, the Lady Knights again raced out to good leads — at 7-2, 13-6 and 15 9 — before the Lady Cougars went on another run, this time 16-8, to take the game and a 2-0 edge in the match.
The third game saw Croatan take the early lead, jumping out in front 5-0, but West Bladen knotted the game with its own 5-0 spurt moments later. That sparked a 7-1 run by the Lady Cougars for a 12-6 edge. West Bladen trimmed the deficit to 13-10 before Croatan went on a 7-e run to take a 20-12 lead.
The Lady Knights put together a 10-1 spurt that gave them a 22-21 lead, but Croatan finished the game and match with a 4-1 run.
Mallory Davis led West Bladen with 10 service points, three kills, two blocks and two aces. Courtney Thompson had six kills and two aces, while Abbey Walters had two aces and two kills.