Eagles defeat Western Alamance, Morehead to conclude regular season

The Eastern Alamance volleyball squad wound down its season this week with a series of conference matches against Western Alamance, McMichael, and Morehead. The Eagles completed a season sweep of their archrival Warriors with a four-set triumph in Elon on January 4, which was followed by a pair of home matches against McMichael and Morehead to close out the regular season. Eastern finished off a 7-7 regular season with a straight set victory Thursday night at home on Senior Night against Morehead. Five 2021 seniors were recognized (from left to right): Taryn Shelton, Maddie Lawson, Reagan Hartley, Ryan Foy, and Kearsyn Henderson. 

The Eastern Alamance volleyball squad wound down its season this week with a series of conference matches against Western Alamance, McMichael, and Morehead. The Eagles completed a season sweep of their arch rival Warriors with a four-set triumph in Elon on January 4, which was followed by a pair of home matches against McMichael and Morehead to close out the regular season. 

Although EAHS got off to a promising 5-2 start to the season, the Eagles hit a slump in late December, as they fell in four consecutive matches against Northern Guilford (December 17), McMichael (December 19), Rockingham County (December 21), and Person County (December 29). Although those losses slipped Eastern’s overall mark to 5-6, the Eagles put it all together against Western Alamance for their second victory of the season against their cross-county nemesis. 

Although Rebecca Wood’s squad dropped a disappointing 25-22 opening set, the Eagles came through for a critical extra-time second set victory over Western. Going beyond the typical 25 points, EAHS got a pair of key points to take a 30-28 win in the second set, which changed the tone of the entire match. Instead of being down 2-0 and facing a potential sweep, the energized Eagles took the momentum of the second set win and claimed the third set, 25-20, to take a 2-1 lead. The wind came out of the sails of the homestanding Warriors after dropping those emotional second and third sets, as the Eagles dominated Western in the fourth set, 25-9, to claim the match victory. 

The Eagles faced a tall task on the evening of January 6, as they returned home to Tal Jobe Gymnasium to take on conference leader McMichael. As they did when they fall to the Phoenix earlier in the season, EAHS fought hard, but were simply unable to overcome the size and precision of McMichael. After falling 25-15 and 25-13 in the opening two sets, Eastern gave the Phoenix all they could handle in the third set, pushing the Mid-State Conference pacesetter to the brink. The Eagles were right there, but some key points pushed McMichael over the top in the end for a 25-21 victory. 

Fortunately for the Eagles, the bitter taste in their mouths from the McMichael setback didn’t last long, as they stayed home on the evening of Thursday, January 7, and closed out the regular season with a decisive victory over Morehead. 

It was Senior Night in Mebane, and the EAHS program honored five of its graduating seniors in the Class of 2021 - Ryan Foy, Reagan Hartley, Kearsyn Henderson, Maddie Lawson, and Taryn Shelton. The quintet of seniors joined their families in a pregame ceremony, where they received flowers and took photos alongside their parents. 

The Eagles left it all out on the court once the match began, building an early 15-5 lead in the opening set on their way to a commanding 25-11 win. The set was climaxed on the final point by an ace from Hartley. 

EAHS got off to another fast start in the second set, taking an early 13-4 lead to force a Morehead timeout. A spike by Loren Crabbe made the count 18-6, and another spike by Kamari Mims sealed the deal for a 25-10 triumph. In the third set the visitors from Eden played a little tougher early on, hanging within 7-6. But Eastern won seven of the next eight points to take a 14-7 advantage and forced a Panthers timeout. 

Leading 23-11 coming out of another timeout, Henderson got a kill beyond the Morehead defenders to give the Eagles match point. The Eagles then finished off the overmatched Panthers with another point, finishing the set with a 25-11 win and a straight set victory. EAHS concluded the regular season with a 7-7 overall record and a fourth place finish in the Mid-State Conference standings.