Wilmington, NC - Cape Fear women's volleyball won their second game of the day, and 13th straight on the season, defeating conference opponent Spartanburg Methodist, 3-1. Cali Watson finished with 11 kills, and five blocks. Faryn Salazar led with 19 assists, while Ali Jenkins finished with 17. Karly Mathias had three aces and 12 digs.
The teams traded points to start the first set, until Cape Fear gained a small lead 8-6. The lead would be short lived, however, as Spartanburg would score the next two points to tie it back up.
The next portion of the set would continue as it had. Miscommunication from the Sea Devils cost them a few points, allowing Spartanburg to gain their largest lead to that point 13-11.
Following a long stoppage of play to validate the score, Spartanburg gained a 17-13 advantage, forcing Cape Fear to call timeout.
Cape Fear scored three straight out of the timeout to cut the deficit to one, then took the lead back at 19-18. Spartanburg would call timeout to stop the momentum, but the Sea Devils would continue scoring after the break, going up 22-18 before the Pioneers would stop the run. Cape Fear would then finish off the set, taking it 25-19.
The Sea Devils would gain the early lead in the second set, going up 8-2. They played much cleaner than in the previous set, and forcing Spartanburg into making numerous errors.
Spartanburg would eventually settle, and cut the Sea Devils' lead to 9-8. Cape Fear would then score five of the next six to jump out to a 14-9 lead, but the Pioneers would come back again, cutting the lead to one again.
The set would remain close, and Spartanburg would take the lead, 17-16. Cape Fear would answer, taking the next five points to up 21-17. Spartanburg would call timeout, but Cape Fear would earn set point 24-19. Before they could take the set, however, Spartanburg would cut the score to 24-23, but a serve sent out of bounds would give Cape Fear the win in the second set, 25-23.
After going down early in the third set, Cape Fear would score fours straight to go up 5-3. Spartanburg would take the lead back at 7-6, and hold it for the next portion of the set. They would extend their lead to 14-8, forcing Cape Fear to call timeout. It would get worse for the Sea Devils following it, as Spartanburg would further extend their lead to 17-9.
Then, Cape Fear would slowly begin chipping away, eventually cutting Spartanburg's lead to 22-19. It wouldn't be enough, however, and Spartanburg would take the third set, 25-20.
Cape Fear would come out aggressive in the fourth set, winning the first three points. Spartanburg would take the next two, before the Sea Devils would score seven straight to go up 9-2.
The Pioneers would cut into the lead, but Cape Fear would hold it as the set went on. After a small run by the home team, the Pioneers would call timeout, down 18-11. They would rally following it, cutting the score to 18-15 before Cape Fear would break the streak.
Cape Fear would then rally to take the fourth 25-19, to win the match.
Despite going down 2-0, Spartanburg remained resilient, giving the Sea Devils one of their toughest matches at home this season.
"We were challenged in this game," said head coach Emily Coleman. "We didn't pass as well as we needed to, so we were out of system quite a bit."
While they didn't play their best, Coleman took pride in her team's resilience. "We fight when we [are] up against the wall. We just need to make sure we start out [the match] fighting."
The Sea Devils improved to 16-6 overall, and 13-1 in conference.
They play next on October 25th, where they will take on Lenoir Community College at home at 6:00 p.m.
Courtesy of Nick Denning