Volleyball: Wakefield 3, Leesville Road 1

Wolverines capture elusive title

cgrant@newsobserver.comOctober 18, 2013 

  • Cap Eight All-Conference team

    Co-Players of the Year:

    Stephanie Steiber, senior, Millbrook

    Gabrielle Benda, senior, Wakefield

    Coach of the Year: Traci Smith, Broughton

    First-team selections:

    Kylie Grandy, junior, Wake Forest

    Sarah Kelly, sophomore, Leesville Road

    Katja Ehlers, sophomore, Broughton

    Genna Simpkins, sophomore, Broughton

    Kati Smith, sophomore, Broughton

    Kimmy Thompson, senior, Sanderson

    Tara Dotzauer, senior, Millbrook

    Sydney Hinds, junior, Heritage

    Maya Muldrow, senior, Wakefield

    Darian Mack, senior, Wakefield

— Wakefield made amends Wednesday night, capturing a title that had previously eluded the Wolverines volleyball team.

Wakefield topped Leesville Road, 3-1, to take the Cap Eight tournament title after falling short of the regular season title to Broughton this year, and losing both titles to Leesville Road a year ago.

“We had a rivalry against Leesville, and we were so happy to just put it away,” said Wakefield senior Jordan Glass after the tournament championship, which the Wolverines won 22-25, 25-12, 25-17, 25-13.

Leesville Road didn’t make it easy. The Pride, seeded No. 4, came out fired up after upsetting top-seeded Broughton two days earlier.

“We wanted to come in here with a lot of intensity,” said Leesville Road coach Christie Dobbin. “We were really executing on all of the things we wanted to do. (Wakefield is) tough. ... A lot should be said for them that they lost that first game and then came back and won. ... I think tonight we just kind of ran out of steam a little bit.”

Wakefield responded, taking the next set convincingly, as Leesville Road struggled to return the Wolverines’ powerful hits.

Senior Darian Mack led the Wolverines with 18 kills, and Gabrielle Benda set 37 assists. Both players were named first-team all-conference, along with senior Maya Muldrow.

The three seniors, standing 6-foot and above, are a force when all cylinders are clicking, along with Glass and junior Julia Forbes.

“I think we’re capable of winning the whole state,” Benda said. “That’s been our goal from day one. When we play our best, we’re the best team.”

Wakefield opened the state tournament Saturday, along with Cap Eight representatives Broughton, Millbrook, Leesville Road and Enloe, which earned a wild-card seed.

“Their growth has been phenomenal,” said Wakefield coach Cynthia Terrell, adding that the win over Leesville was an important mental hurdle for the Wolverines to overcome. “This is the time of season you want to peak and you want to be at your best. ... If we can keep this up, there’s no telling what could happen.”

Grant: 919-829-4538

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