Terry Sanford stops Lady Jackets in three
Lee County's volleyball squad could've all but locked up the Cape Fear Valley Conference season title, in the first CFVC season for the Lady Yellow Jackets, Thursday night on the Jackets' home floor.
Instead, Terry Sanford, also a newcomer from 4A to the 3A CFVC, left in charge of first place with a three-set victory. The Lady Bulldogs (8-8, 8-2) claimed a season sweep of the Lady Jackets (12-4, 8-2), winning 25-22, 25-23, 25-18.
The first two sets could've swung either way, and Lee County led for good portions of both frames. Terry Sanford closed the strongest though, rattling off a 5-0 run to claim the opening set, then winning the critical points after a 22-22 score in set two.
Lee County, trying to build on a six-match winning streak and trying to take a two-game lead in the CFVC with two matches to play next week, jumped out to a lead in the first set. Good runs on serving by Chandler Patterson and Emily Stanley gave the Lady Jackets an 8-4 lead.
Terry Sanford tied the set at 8-8, and from a 12-12 score, Lee County ran out to a 17-12 lead. Aces by Clay Fowler gave the Jackets points 16 and 17.
Terry Sanford answered to gain a 20-19 lead. A series of Lady Bulldog miscues gave Lee County the lead back, a 22-20 lead. The Lady Bulldogs didn't allow Lee County another point in the set, getting a kill to take a 23-22 lead, then a Jacket error and another kill to win the set.
Terry Sanford kept rolling to a 4-0 lead in the second set, but the set became a back and forth contest. A Lee County run tied the set at 17-17 only for the Lady Bulldogs to get a 4-0 rally. Each time the Lady Jackets seemed to get a shot of momentum, Terry Sanford's hitting was too strong.
Stanley scored with a kill, then two aces, to bring Lee County within 21-20. Tashari Wells-Tucker knocked down a spike, off of an assist by Fowler, to make it 22-22.
Again, the visitors got the points when they mattered most. A Lady Bulldog block made it 24-23 and an ace made the match 2-0.
Terry Sanford led from the early points on, taking the lead for good at 9-8, in the third set.
Fowler totaled 14 assists, five aces and four kills for Lee County. Stanley had seven kills and Patterson had four kills.
The Lady Jackets have two matches left to see if they can break their tie with Terry Sanford. Lee County will host Westover at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, then host Southern Lee on Thursday evening.