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Spartans spike Ledford

Central Davidson’s Alex Halbach hits a kill against Ledford during their Thursday night volleyball match. (Photo by Donnie Roberts/The Dispatch)

WALLBURG | Central Davidson’s volleyball team has run into a couple of road blocks in the Mid-Piedmont Conference.

With a view of first place, the Spartans made roadkill out of Ledford on Thursday.

The Spartans were dominant at the service line and at the net en route to a surprisingly easy 25-22, 25-13, 25-18 victory over the Panthers. That leaves both teams with two losses in league play, but Central completed a season sweep over Ledford, giving it the tiebreaker for the No. 1 seed.

That is, if the Spartans can run the MPC table next week. If they play like they did Thursday, that won’t be a problem. In a game dominated by momentum, Central never allowed Ledford to seize control of any set. “We came back and rallied,” Central coach Monica Parsons said. “That was a big game for us.”

Ledford coach Megan Mayhew was disappointed that her team, which had a chance to essentially put the conference title away, couldn’t put up a better fight. “We didn’t do well in serve receive,” Mayhew noted. “We made a lot of bad passes, and you can’t attack if you can’t get a pass on target.”

That was the story of the match — Kamber Skeen constantly fed the high-flying tandem of Melissa McMath and Taylor Shoaf at the net for vicious kills, and Ledford had extreme trouble generating any kind of offense when the Spartans were serving.

Central squandered a big lead in the first set, when Sierra Cefali, Jessie Hayworth and Siarra Walker found their rhythm at the net and put the Panthers ahead 22-21. But Rachel Lewis came through with a kill for the Spartans to tie things up, then Shoaf teamed with McMath for a block and the lead. Shoaf followed that with a kill, then Ledford sailed a hit wide on set point.

Walker’s kill gave the Panthers a 6-4 lead early in the second set, but Ledford gave the service right back to Central with a serve into the net. Alex Halbach then completely took over for the Spartans, winning 15 straight service points. It looked like Halbach, whose sinking line-drive serves made life miserable for the Panthers, would be serving forever. “She served 17 times in the second game,” Parsons beamed. “That’s big; with quite a few aces, too.”

Lewis’ kill put the finishing touches on the second set, and the Spartans had certainly set the tone for the match. Ledford maintained a narrow lead throughout the third set, but the Spartans erupted on an 11-2 run to grab a 19-14 cushion. Skeen was phenomenal at the service line this time, with five straight service points after Shoaf rammed a spike through two would-be blockers. Skeen had two aces, including one in which she tried something different that just happened to drop in a hole in the Ledford defense. She met her teammates for the celebratory circle with a wide, surprised smile on her face, knowing it was simply Central’s night.

Shoaf and McMath added two kills each down the home stretch then, up 24-18 with match point, Skeen lofted another beautiful, high set to a waiting McMath at the net. The junior rose up and pounded it into two blockers, whose blocks sailed out of bounds to end the match.

“Our blocks were on, our hits were on,” Parsons said. “Everything was on tonight.”

Central hosts East Davidson for a nonconference match Monday. Ledford also steps out of the MPC Monday with a visit to Wheatmore.

Jason Queen can be reached at 249-3981, ext. 220, or