Volleyball settles for second

Published 10:33 am Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Davie and Reagan volleyball teams played a pulsating match on Sept. 26, when Davie led 2-1 before letting it slip away.

When the colossal rematch was held at Reagan on Oct. 12, a 3-0 defeat was hardly what Davie had in mind. Davie was hoping to share first and end a title drought that began in 2003. Instead, the defending 4-A runner-up improved to 23-1 overall and 10-0 in the Central Piedmont Conference. The Reagan dynasty ran its winning streak against CPC teams to 20 and finished tied or alone in first for the eighth consecutive year. Second-place Davie stumbled to 21-3, 8-2.

Despite the shutout, the War Eagles still have reason to believe they can get over the Raider hump and make a deep playoff run. It’s not like they got shellacked. All three sets were 25-22.

“It’s tough when you have two teams of the caliber of us and Reagan in the same conference,” coach Amber Brandon said. “I do think they still believe (they can beat Reagan). I think we played a lot more relaxed than the first time we played them, so that was comforting. I was really impressed with how hard they came into the gym (the next day) ready to work. We are continually making adjustments and working on getting better. Our kids are excited for the conference tournament and hopefully to make a competitive state playoff run.”

It was 21-20 Reagan in the first set. The Raiders went on a 5-1 run to close it out. In the second set, Davie chopped an 18-11 deficit to 23-22. When it was 24-22, the 6-foot-2 Bailey Hatchett got a kill to put Reagan up two sets to none. The War Eagles dug another hole in the third set, this time 21-14. Again, they rallied, an 8-3 spurt closing the gap to 24-22. Reagan’s coach called timeout to settle his team, and the Raiders finished it off, giving them five straight sets over Davie.

Reagan has five seniors who have played important roles for a long time. As talented as Davie is, it is driven by juniors and sophomores, with the exception of front-row superstar Tyra Galloway.

“We played one senior,” Brandon said. “We’re still trying to figure out our way. We started the first two sets down 5-0 and then lost by three. When you’re playing a team that’s this talented, it’s hard to dig out of that hole. I was proud of my kids for fighting back and not giving up.”

Notes: Two days earlier, Davie routed visiting East Forsyth in straight sets. The fourth straight win allowed Davie to tie the program record for wins. The 1981 team went 21-6. … Against East, it was Senior Night for Kim Clemo, Kam Parks and Galloway. … Reagan was 20-0 before a 3-0 loss to Carson on Oct. 7. Oddly enough, Davie beat Carson 3-1 on Aug. 15. … Reagan and Davie, of course, finished 1-2 in the CPC standings. West Forsyth (5-5), East (4-6), Glenn (3-7) and Reynolds (0-10) rounded out the pecking order. … The consolation prize: Davie’s runner-up finish is its best CPC showing in nine years. In 2008, it finished second to Mt. Tabor.