North Forsyth came into Thursday’s match with the game plan to feed Maddie Bryant, and that’s exactly what they did in their win over West Forsyth.
North won 25-17, 25-16, and 25-22 to defeat cross-county foe, West, and Bryant was huge part of that. She totaled 22 kills in the three games.
It didn’t hurt matters that Bryant had Logan Taft there to set her up again and again. Everything went through Taft. In the three games, she totaled 40 sets.
“Maddie, she’s obviously our go-to hitter,” North head coach Kelly Cecil said. “And with Logan [Taft] setting her up, yeah, that’s our game plan till we figure out it’s not working.”
The difference in this match was the starts. North (28-3, 3-0 in Area 5-7A) got out to a big lead in each game, and it was too much for West to come back from.
The Raiders got out to a quick 5-1 lead in the first game, but the Wolverines battled back. Then after West got a point to make it 18-17 in favor of North, the Raiders routed off seven straight points to close out the first game.
In the second game, North jumped out to a 9-1 lead before West (10-18, 1-2) battled back and made it 17-14. But once again, the Raiders went on another run, scoring seven straight points to take a 24-14 lead. They won the second game 25-16.
The Raiders then built an 8-1 lead to start the third game, but once again, the Wolverines battled back. After being in a 14-4 hole, West scratched and clawed their way back to make it 22-21. But in the end, the Raiders were too much and prevailed 25-22 in the third and final game.
“I felt like we played well, they just had a couple service runs on us, and we had a hard time stopping their outside hitters,” West head coach Jake Dickey said. “They served well, but I thought in transition we could play with them. But it’s the long service runs, we gotta work on that.”
North had five aces on the night, and the libero, Marin Black, had four of them, including back-to-back aces on the Raiders’ 7-point streak to close out the second game. Black also played excellent defense on North’s back row.
“I think our block did a really good job,” Cecil said. “they were getting some touches, helping out our back row, we just played the net really well tonight.”