The Midway Raiders volleyball squad kicked off the 2A NCHSAA Volleyball Playoffs on Saturday. Earning the No. 5 overall seed in the tournament, Midway hosted the No. 28 seed, Randleman. The Lady Raiders looked like a team on a mission, cruising to victory in straight sets to advance.
Both teams came out poised and displaying confidence but it was Midway that landed the first punch, racing out to a 9-2 lead to force the Lady Tigers into a quick timeout.
The Lady Raiders were relentless, extending their lead to 14-6 to force Randleman to burn their final timeout of the set. A long volley ended in Randleman’s favor, much to the pleasure of Tiger faithful, but a big block by Madee Royal silenced the visitors as the home team ignited. Midway went on to win the set 25-13.
The second set was close early as the teams traded the lead but Midway found their footing and began looting space between themselves and the Tigers. After the Lady Raiders opened an 11-7 advantage, Randleman was once again forced into a timeout. Out of the timeout, Royal had a big block that seemed to pull the life out of the Tigers. Midway reeled off consecutive points to stretch their lead to a dominating 18-7 margin.
Some sloppiness toward the end of the set on Midway’s part allowed Randleman to tack on some points, but the Lady Raiders won convincingly 25-14 to go up two sets to none.
The Raiders were dominant right out of the gate in the final set, opening up a 5-0 lead that was stretched to 10-1 after yet another Tigers timeout. Trailing 12-2, Randleman found some spunk to work with, keeping Midway within a respectable margin, but the Raiders were ultimately too much as they finished off the match with a 25-17 victory in the third set.
With the win, Midway advances to the second round on Tuesday where they will host an opponent that they’ve become very familiar with: conference foe East Duplin. The Lady Panthers earned the No. 12 overall seed and bring a formidable 16-6 overall record against the 21-2 overall Lady Raiders, game time is 7 p.m.
Reach Dare Barefoot at email@example.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter @SampsonInd.