Wayne Country Day held off Thales Academy and advanced into the second round of the N.C. Independent School Athletic Association 2A state volleyball playoffs with a 25-12, 25-20, 21-25, 25-18 victory on Tuesday afternoon.
Wayne Country Day travels to top-seeded Freedom Christian Academy on Thursday.
“I’m proud of them, and we’re excited for Thursday,” Wayne Country Day head coach Haleigh Wilhide said.
The Chargers started with energy in the opening minutes of the match.
Thales Academy won the first point of the match, but Wayne Country Day responded and went on an 18-7 run. The huge spark gave the Chargers an 18-8 lead and an eventual first-set victory.
“The girls came out fresh and hot,” Wilhide said. “They did great, and everyone did their job, but then in the second set, you could tell the momentum shifted a little.
“In the third set, things fell apart, but it’s volleyball, and it happens, and in the fourth set, it was like a whole different team.”
The issues for the Chargers began in the second set. Wayne Country Day led 15-11 midway through the second set.
However, Thales Academy used an 11-5 run to cut Wayne Country Day’s lead down to 22-20, forcing Wilhide to call a timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Wayne Country Day regained its focus and won three straight points to take the second set.
In the third set, the Titans proved they wanted it just as much as the Chargers.
Wayne Country Day jumped out to a 17-14 lead, but Thales Academy did close the gap and eventually took a 25-21 lead to win the third set.
“It’s about delivering when there’s pressure. That’s what we have to overcome,” Wilhide said.
Thales Academy did hold a 6-3 lead in the fourth set. But thanks in part to strong play from the Chargers’ Ja’Kea Brunson, Jordin Whitney, Parker Faircloth and Carleigh Grieman, the Chargers clawed their way back into the set and sealed the match.
Heading into Thursday’s game against Freedom Christian Academy, Wilhide specifically pointed to the first set as an example of the level of play she needs from her team for the rest of the playoffs.