Wilmington, NC - After an early scare in the first set, the Cape Fear women's volleyball team would rally to win the first set, and sweep the next two to defeat Potomac State College 3-0. Tressa Amico had eight kills, while Payton Schoenleber finished with 9. Faryn Salazar provided 16 assists and 11 digs.
A highly competitive first set suggested Cape Fear would be in for a tightly contested match. Potomac would take the early lead, as Cape Fear made numerous errors. The Sea Devils looked out of sync, and Potomac found ways to exploit them.
While down for much of the set, Cape Fear kept it close, and would eventually tie the set at 12-12. The teams would exchange points from there, until Cape Fear would take their first lead at 16-15. They would only hold it briefly, however, as Potomac would score the next two points to take back the lead.
After going down by three, the Sea Devils rallied to score four straight points to take the lead at 20-19. Potomac would take the next two points to lead 21-20, at which point Sea Devils head coach Emily Coleman called timeout.
Asked what she told them during that timeout, Coleman stated, "We needed to focus on our tempo and our service feeds. We've been wanting to play teams that are a little bit stronger caliber than the ones we've seen the past couple of weeks and this was our chance to do it. I said we just needed to play our game, have good tempo, [and] execute, and they got it together."
The Sea Devils would tie the set following the timeout, but the Catamounts would take the lead right back. With the scored tied at 22-22, Cape Fear would concede the next point, then earn the next three to win it in dramatic fashion.
The match continued to be competitive into the second set. Cape Fear would start down 2-1, then score the next four points to lead 5-2.
The Catamounts will begin closing the gap from there, cutting the lead to 7-6, but the Sea Devils would break their scoring streak
Sophomore Amber Tyndall would injure her ankle during the second set, but remain in the match. Leading 9-6, Tyndall shook off the injury, earning a kill to extend her team's lead. Momentum began to swing in Cape Fear's favor, and after extending the lead to 12-6, Potomac was forced to call timeout.
After looking unorganized for much of the first set, Cape Fear played more in control during the second.
"They got more focused, their passing cleaned up a little bit, [and] they were able to put more balls away," said Coleman. "We weren't running the setters all over the play, [and] we just started making a few more plays."
Their focus would make a difference, as they would take the second set 25-13.
Cape Fear took an early 4-1 lead to start the third set. Potomac would draw close, but the Sea Devils would maintain the lead as the set went on.
The Catamounts would keep the score close for much of the set, preventing Cape Fear from running away with it. The Sea Devils held a 16-12 lead, but Potomac would run off four straight points to tie the match at 16-16.
The teams would trade points following a Cape Fear timeout, until two consecutive kills by Tyndall would give the home team a 20-17 lead. The momentum would swing the Sea Devils way, and they would run away with the final set 25-20, to win the match.
Coleman was pleased afterwards. "Solid win. They're a good offensive team that we were looking forward to playing. We came together, and overall I'm happy with the way we [played] at 11 o'clock in the morning."
The win improves Cape Fear's record to 15-6 overall. It was their 12th straight victory.
They will play their second match of the day at 3:00 p.m. against Spartanburg Methodist.
Courtesy of Nick Denning