2018-09-12 / Sports

Rockets downed in five

McMichael stays unbeaten, rallies past Person to take the lead in the Mid-State
BY KELLY SNOW
COURIER-TIMES SPORTS EDITOR


The McMichael High School volleyball team celebrates after defeating Person, 3-2, Tuesday in Rocket Gym. It was the Rockets first regular season home loss since 2016 and their first as a member of the Mid-State Conference. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES The McMichael High School volleyball team celebrates after defeating Person, 3-2, Tuesday in Rocket Gym. It was the Rockets first regular season home loss since 2016 and their first as a member of the Mid-State Conference. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES McMichael came into Rocket Gym and snatched control of the Mid-State Conference away from the reigning champs.

The Phoenix roared back from a 2-1 hole to knock off Person, 3-2 (13-25, 25-21, 18- 25, 25-18, 15-6) in a wild affair Tuesday in Roxboro.

The victory stretches McMichael’s undefeated record to 12-0 on the season, while snapping the Rockets’ nine-game winning streak and handing them their first loss as a member of the Mid-State Conference.

Person rolled through the league undefeated last season, including three vic- tories against the Phoenix with the final one coming in the Mid-State tournament semifinals.


Person’s Karoline Cox rises up to try to block McMichael’s Reagan Wyatt during Tuesday’s match. The Phoenix went into Rocket Gym and won in five sets. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES Person’s Karoline Cox rises up to try to block McMichael’s Reagan Wyatt during Tuesday’s match. The Phoenix went into Rocket Gym and won in five sets. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES This time around, the McMichael players on the court were able to handle the intensity of playing in Rocket Gym, even though several of their fans were not.

After the Rockets finished off a 25-13 first-set victory, three adult men, both wearing McMichael shirts, aggressively approached the Person students section.

The game was delayed for several minutes while the men were removed from the gym and when play resumed, it seemed to ignite the Phoenix.

McMichael raced out to a 13-7 lead and withstood a late Rocket push to take the second set, 25-21.

Person seized control of a tightly-contested third set midway through with a 9-1 run with seven of those points coming from serves from freshmen Lillie Davis and Mariah McCowan. Hailey Long highlighted the run with a huge solo block on McMichael’s Cassidy Tanton.

Person pulled away for a comfortable third-set win with a 4-0 run after McMichael closed with within 19-16.

Pamela Hill delivered a perfect push shot that fell in the left corner to extend the lead to 23-16 and Karoline Cox finished off the win with an acrobatic tip on set point.

The teams swapped the lead throughout the fourth set before the Phoenix took control with the Rockets just nine points from a match victory.

McMichael took advantage of shaky service receive from the Rockets and closed the fourth on a 9-2 run with Tanton carrying much of the load.

The sophomore was streaky throughout the match was on target during the late stages of the fourth, with four kills in a 10-point stretch.

McMichael had a sloppy start to the deciding fifth set after spotting the Rockets two quick points on attacking errors.

But after that, the final set belonged to the visitors.

McMichael’s aggressive serving, led by Skye Malasig, dominated the Rockets as it erupted on a 9-0 spurt to seize control.

The Phoenix finished the match by winning 11 of the final 12 points.

Long paced the Rockets with 20 kills and four blocks, while Cox and Emma Duncan finished with 10 kills each.

The teams will meet against Oct. 4 at McMichael.

The Rockets are scheduled to face Rockingham County Thursday but no decision on whether the game will be played has been made as of press time.

Person opened the week with a 3-0 win at Orange.

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