Upset at Fairfield gives Lady Devils a sectional volleyball championship

first_img North Adams’ Delaney Harper (23, center) goes up for a block attempt in action from last Saturday’s Division III sectional championship at Fairfield. Harper and the Lady Devils handled the Lady Lions in three sets to advance to this week’s district tournament. (Photo by Mark Carpenter)North Adams moves to Div. III District tourney – By Mark Carpenter – In the 2018 regular season, the Fairfield Lady lions volleyball squad ran roughshod over the rest of the Southern Hills Athletic Conference, finishing 13-0 in the conference to earn the coveted gold ball trophy. But when the postseason begins, the old saying goes to “throw out the records, everyone starts from scratch.” On Saturday, Oct. 20, the Lady Lions hosted a Division III sectional championship game with a familiar foe across the net, one who has seen their fair share of success in the SHAC and the postseason, the North Adams Lady Devils.The Lady Devils had been no slouches in the regular season, finishing with a record of 16-5, 11-2 in the conference and good enough for the big school title, one of those losses coming early in the season to the Lady Lions. In Southeast District tournament play, members of the SHAC often see themselves matched up with each other and to get to Saturday’s sectional final, the Lady Devils had already defeated conference foe Lynchburg and now had their sights set on the Lady Lions and a trip to the districts.For Coach Katie Ragan and her young Lady Devils, Saturday may have been the boost they will need in the future. After dropping the first set to the Lady Lions, the North Adams girls roared back to win the next three, dominating play at the net and getting floor coverage from everyone, taking down the favored Lady Lions, 17-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-18.They were upright in this shot, but Lady Devils Abbi Stacy, left, and Myla Toole, right, spend a lot of time diving to the floor as the pair combined for 41 digs in the North Adams sectional tourney win at Fairfield on Oct. 20. (Photo by Mark Carpenter)“We played so much better today than we did last week with Lynchburg,” said Coach Ragan. “I hope it continues into next week. We talked a lot about cutting down our errors and making smart plays and for the most part, we did that today.”In the match’s first set, the game was played close to the vest, with neither side being able to build a substantial lead. The two teams went back and forth, trading kills and blocks at the net, until Fairfield’s Layla Hattan stepped to the service line with her team up 13-12. Hattan, whose approach to her rocket serves seems to begin somewhere in the parking lot, reeled off three straight as the Lady Lions went on a 6-1 run to lead 19-13.North Adams grabbed four of the next five points to pull within 20-17, but the Lady Lions rode the serves of Ally Davis down the home stretch to claim a 25-17 first set victory.Early in the second set a kill by Cortney Brown gave the Lady Devils the side out and brought Sierra Kendall to the service line, where she ripped off nine points in a row and later kills by Brown and Desiree Ison kept the visitors in front 14-8. Then Fairfield answered with Braylynn Haines serving for six straight to tie the score at 15 apiece and after a DeLaney Harper kill and a Marah Call ace, the Lady Lions got four more to go on top 19-17. Back came the Lady Devils, getting the serve back on another Harper kill, and then seeing Ison reel off four in a row and now North Adams led 22-19.The North Adams Lady Devils volleyball squad had plenty to celebrate on Saturday as they upset the Fairfield Lady Lions in three sets to advance to the Division III district tournament. (Photo by Mark Carpenter)Kills by Harper and Brown sealed the deal on the second set as North Adams evened the match with the 25-22 win.Momentum is a big factor in any sporting event and after that second set win, the Lady Devils seemed to have a new bounce in their step and an air of confidence as the third set began, jumping out to a 10-6 lead behind some solid play at the net from Wylie Shipley. Though the Lady Lions chipped away at that margin the entire set, the Lady Devils never gave up the lead, getting contributions from all over the floor, digs from Myla Toole and Abbi Stacy, kills from Shipley, Ison, and Harper, and all of the resulted in a 25-19 win in the third set, giving the upset-minded North Adams squad a spot directly in the driver’s seat, leading the match 2-1.Now sensing the kill, the Lady Devils pounced early in the fourth set, taking a 11-8 lead before a trio of Fairfield points tied it up. Four Ison service points aided by Harper dominance at the net made it 16-11 North Adams and though the Lady Lions fought back to within one, the visitors were ready to slam the door. Two service aces by Harper, a block by Brown, and three service points from Kendall put the Lady Devils up 24-17 and when a Fairfield serve went awry, the match was over and a jubilant group of North Adams girls celebrated a sectional championship, a trip to the district tournament, and a four-set win over the conference small-school champions.“Our hitting was so much better today,” said Coach Ragan. “That may have been the best that Delaney Harper and Cortney Brown have played all year, along with Wylie Shipley. Part of that is starting with a good pass, then hitting the ball and not tipping it.”The stat line for the day for North Adams was quite impressive: Delaney Harper- 13 kills, 3 blocks, 3 aces, 3 digs; Wylie Shipley- 12 kills, 10 digs; Cortney Brown- 10 kills, 3 blocks; Sierra Kendall- 12 digs, 37 assists, 2 aces; Desiree Ison- 11 digs, 6 kills, 2 aces; Marah Call- 3 blocks, 2 aces, 2 assists, 5 digs; Myla Toole- 26 digs; and Abbi Stacy- 15 digs.”“Sierra Kendall has just played well for us all year,” said Ragan. “She really hustles and gets to a lot of balls and today she did a good job of distributing the ball to our different hitters. She probably doesn’t get the credit she deserves.”“My team is still young and inexperienced and there are times when that frustrates me because we make more mistakes than we should. Then there are times where I think if we keep improving, how good we can be in the next couple of years. I’m hoping this win shows the girls how much they have improved.”The now 18-5 Lady Devils advance to the Division III District Semi-Finals on Wednesday, Oct 24 at Waverly High School. North Adams will face the Zane Trace Lady Pioneers with the match expected to begin in the vicinity of 7:30-8 p.m. Upset at Fairfield gives Lady Devils a sectional volleyball championshipOctober 26, 2018Peoples DefenderSports0 Powered By 10 Sec Best Carrot Cake Ever NextStay Best Carrot Cake EverNOW PLAYINGMama’s Deviled EggsNOW PLAYINGApple Pie BitesNOW PLAYINGApple Pie Bites With Caramel SauceNOW PLAYINGOld Fashioned Soft and Buttery Yeast RollsNOW PLAYINGHawaiian Roll Ham SlidersNOW PLAYING5 Easy and Delicious Crock Pot Meatball Appetizer RecipesNOW PLAYINGHomemade Caramel SauceNOW PLAYINGCream Cheese Cake Mix CookiesNOW PLAYINGHow to Slice & Mince Vegetables Like a ProNOW PLAYINGPumpkin Cream Cheese BarsNOW PLAYINGHow to Knead DoughNOW PLAYINGHow to Use a Meat ThermometerNOW PLAYINGSlow Cooker/Crock Pot HintsNOW PLAYINGHow to Quarter a ChickenNOW PLAYINGHow to Clean Garbage DisposalsNOW PLAYINGHow to Clean Stainless Steel SinksNOW PLAYINGHow to Cook Scrambled EggsNOW PLAYINGHow to Peel Hard Boiled EggsNOW PLAYINGHow to Chill a Drink in 2 MinutesNOW PLAYINGHow to Chop an Onion PerfectlyNOW PLAYINGPerfect Bacon Every TimeNOW PLAYINGSweet Alabama PecanbreadNOW PLAYINGParmesan Baked Pork ChopsNOW PLAYINGPrime Rib Roast Au Jus Perfect Every Time! 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