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Central spikes East, stays atop CCC volleyball

THOMASVILLE | Central Davidson needed to beat East Davidson on Thursday to remain in first place in the Central Carolina Conference volleyball standings and that’s what the Spartans did.

With authority.

All aspects of the Spartans’ game were clicking as they rolled to a 25-18, 25-17, 25-15 on East’s court. Central, 12-5 overall, is now 7-1 in the CCC. The Spartans lead West Davidson by one-half game.

“Yeah, we’ve got to stay there,” said Central coach Melissa Skeen. “We’ve got two more games.”

Central did clinch a 2-A state playoff berth with the win.

East fell to 8-12 overall and 5-3 in the conference. A win would have pulled East into a tie with Central and only a half-game behind West. Instead, East fell out of contention for the conference championship. The Eagles still have a good shot to get in the playoffs.

“We didn’t play smart volleyball,” said East coach Kim Warrick. “That’s all it is. Until we play smart volleyball, it’s hard to win games. We’ve got to take care of the ball, take care of business.”

The Spartans did just that.

Setter Kamber Skeen had 10 kills, six digs, 16 assists and an ace. Melissa McMath dominated at the net as usual with seven kills along with 10 digs and five aces. Taylor Shoaf had four kills and two blocks while Kassie Miller had three kills, five digs and an ace. But to Skeen, the key to the match was libero McKenzie Burkhart, who received 22 serves and had 22 digs as well as an ace.

It all added up to a solid effort with no real weaknesses.

“That’s because McKenzie Burkhart made all those passes,” Skeen said. “She got the ball to where it needed to be so that we could set up everything else.”

After Central won the first set, East showed some spunk in the second game. The Eagles led 9-6 when Taylor Moretz and Natalie Naturile executed a double block on the 6-foot-1 McMath.

But the Spartans won three straight points on Kamber Skeen’s jump serving and took the lead for good at 11-10 on a McMath ace. East was still within 18-16 but Central got the serve back on a hitting error. Once again it was Skeen’s turn to serve and the Spartans pulled away. McMath closed it out when the Eagles couldn’t return her line drive serve.

Central stumbled at the start of the third game, falling behind 5-0 on a succession of hitting errors. The Spartans gradually worked their way back and finally went ahead 14-13 on an East hitting error. The Spartans pulled away and the match ended with four more East hitting errors.

The Spartans are back in action on Tuesday at Lexington while East goes to West Davidson.

Mike Duprez can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 218 or