2018-10-10 / Sports

Person throttles Cougars

BY KELLY SNOW
COURIER-TIMES SPORTS EDITOR


Person celebrates after winning a point in the first set against Rockingham County. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES Person celebrates after winning a point in the first set against Rockingham County. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES The Person High School volleyball team played its home finale Tuesday as if it had some where to be in a hurry. In fact, the Rockets did have somewhere to be — the postgame Senior Night celebration.

They wasted little time getting to the party, dispensing of Rockingham County in three quick sets (25-9, 25-14, 25-11) in their regular season home finale.

Person raced out to huge leads in each of the games, 18-3 in the first, 17-3 in the second 11-1 in the third and were never challenged.

“I think that we, as a team, did some great things tonight,” Person coach Tracey Vaughan said. “Everyone got to play tonight. Our seniors were a big part of our game. I teach the girls not to look at the scoreboard and to think about how it feels. Did it feel like a win or did it feel like a loss? Tonight, I wanted them to go out with a statement and have some fun.”


Pamela Hill takes a big swing at a serve during Tuesday’s match against Rockingham County. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES Pamela Hill takes a big swing at a serve during Tuesday’s match against Rockingham County. KELLY SNOW | COURIER-TIMES The team’s four seniors, Sarah Boone, Paige Mangum, Pamela Hill and Hailey Long were honored before the match and following the sweep. It was another celebration for Long after being named the MaxPreps/AVCA North Carolina Player of the Week on Monday and the Performance of the Week award winner by the North Carolina High School Athletic Association Tuesday afternoon.

Long finished with 76 kills and 13 blocks in three matches last week and has played every point of every set this season.

“Our seniors are instrumental,” Vaughan said. “To have a senior setter who can set like she does and hit like that too, is unbelievable. We’re going to miss her so much. Missing her isn’t a strong enough word. Someone is going to have some huge shoes to fill.”

Long had a team-high 14 kills in the win with three digs, while Karoline Cox had four kills. Emma Duncan and Pamela Hill finished with three kills each.

The Rockets (16-4, 11-3) will wrap up the regular season Thursday night at Northeast Guilford before next week’s Mid-State Conference tournament.

Person will be the second seed overall and will open against Morehead. A potential showdown with undefeated McMichael looms in the tournament championship after two five-set thrillers, both won by the Phoenix. The second installment was last Thursday in Mayodan when Mc- Michael raced out to a twoset lead before the Rockets roared back to take the next two and force a deciding fifth game. The Phoenix held on for a 15-13 win that clinched the regular season title and the conference’s top-seed in the upcoming state playoffs. The Rockets are looking forward to seeing their new-found rival one more time.

“We’re hoping to see them,” Vaughan said of McMichael. “We are hoping so. Maybe that’s not the smartest idea to look forward to seeing them, but we’re hoping (to play them in the finals). We have learned a lot in the times we faced them and we’re learning a lot about ourselves. We’re ready to put it together and make it work. The first time, we thought we were ready but didn’t really know what to expect. The second game, we were more prepared, but we had to change our whole lineup. The third time, knowing what we have and being able to set our lineup how we want, we’ll be ready.”

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