Eastern Alamance’s volleyball team split another pair of conference matches last week, as the Eagles suffered a three-set sweep at the hands of McMichael, and then turned around and picked up a 3-0 sweep of Northeast Guilford two days later. The split continued what has been an up-and-down season for the Eagles, who took a 7-6 record into Tuesday’s home match against Mid-State Conference leader Person, who got off to an 8-0 start in league play.
Through eight conference matches, the Eagles sat at 4-4 - tied with Northern Guilford for fourth place. The Eagles and Nighthawks could wind up fighting it out over the final weeks of the regular season for the final playoff spot the Mid-State Conference receives in the upcoming NCHSAA 3A state playoffs.
Although the Eagles have avoided losing more than two straight games throughout the year thus far, they have not managed to win more than back-to-back games, as the team has rode a roller coaster of emotional highs and disappointing lows.
No lows were more disappointing than a heartbreaking five-set loss at Western Alamance on September 19. The Eagles most certainly have October 15 penciled in on the schedule, when they’ll face the Warriors in a rematch in Tal Jobe Gymnasium. While also seeking revenge against Western for the road loss earlier in the season, the Eagles will also be looking for a huge conference win that could greatly aid their postseason resume.
But before the Eagles take the court again to face Western, they’ll play a series of league matches against Person, Northern Guilford, Rockingham, and Morehead, with a non-conference battle at Williams sandwiched in on October 7.
Against McMichael, the Eagles came out with an excellent early emotional effort, but couldn’t get over the hump in a 25-20 first set defeat. From there the Phoenix took control, beating the Eagles 25-13 in the second set, and then overwhelming the tiring home squad 25-9 in the decisive third set. Despite the loss, the Eagles got four kills from senior Ashleigh Taylor, two service aces from Reagan Hartley, and six digs from Taryn Shelton.
EAHS regrouped quickly from the loss to McMichael and headed to McLeansville, where they handed Northeast Guilford a three-set sweep. The Eagles settled the issue right out of the gate, taking command of the opening set on their way to a 25-18 win. Things got easier from there, as EAHS dominated the second set, 25-12, and wiped out the Rams in the third set by a 25-6 score. The victory improved Eastern’s overall record to 7-6.
The Eagles know that they’ll be challenged by Person, who got off to a 12-1 start this fall, including an unblemished 8-0 mark in league play. Eastern was dominated by Person in Roxboro back on September 5, with the Rockets claiming a three-set sweep.
On Thursday, the Eagles will host Northern Guilford, who EAHS is currently tied with in the league standings. The Nighthawks handed the Eagles a four-set loss in Greensboro back on September 3, but Eastern has a golden opportunity to move ahead of the Nighthawks with a return victory in Mebane.