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Volleyball: West Forsyth starts area slate with win over Central
Karsyn Theobald
West Forsyth sophomore Karsyn Theobald celebrates Tuesday after the Wolverines won a point. Photo by David Roberts

Jake Dickey felt his team needed a reminder.

He watched Tuesday as West Forsyth's lead in the fourth set crumbled from a 22-17 advantage to a tie game.

Up 2-1, West had multiple opportunities to clinch the decisive set, but a resilient Central squad, led by sophomore setter Emma Kiser, took six of seven points late to force a 23-23 tie.

So, Dickey called a timeout.

"We've been playing a really hard schedule, and we've been coming up 30-28 on the short side. Against Johns Creek, it was five sets and we came up 18-16 on the short side," Dickey said. "I'm like, 'Girls, we've played for this moment. Now go out and take it.' It went our way today."

West (8-17, 1-0 Area 5-7A) used its size to win the next two points, as 6-foot junior middle hitter Abby Kingsbury tallied her sixth block of the match to take the last point and give the Wolverines a 3-1 win. 

Central (15-12, 0-1 Area 5-7A) won the first set 25-20 but dropped the last three 25-21, 25-23 and 25-21. 

"I saw a lot of fight, a lot of smarts," Central coach Brian Welsch said. "We dug ourselves a hole, and that's something we were terribly guilty of last season but hasn't been our MO this season. Coach Dickey does a great job with his girls minimizing errors. Them minimizing errors and us coming out and being aggressive was a good thing for us. We were kind of able to ride some momentum in the second half of that first set."

Central came into the match with wins in four of its past five matches, including 2-0 shutouts against Discovery, Parkview and Mountain View. 

Despite having seven seniors on the roster, Welsch said he saw just as much leadership come from his sophomores and juniors during Tuesday's match. 

West only has two seniors this year — Kayle Goetzman and Olivia Mooney — after last season's Final Four appearance, so much of the Wolverines' offensive production has come from underclassmen. 

Freshman Reece Rhoads led the team Tuesday with nine kills, followed by fellow freshman Lymaris Vasquez and sophomore Cayla Cowart, who each had eight kills.

Those three have combined for more than half of West's kills this season. 

"We eliminated some of our mistakes, but we've still got a ways to go." Dickey said. "We're a young team and we're trying to get better every day. This was a big one. We started 0-0 in region and now we're 1-0.

"We can be solid if we're consistent. We've got to be more consistent. Like I said, we've got to eliminate more of the errors. If we get a lead, we give it right back. We've got to get the lead and then play the way we did to get the lead."

Area play will continue Thursday as West travels to Milton and West visits South Forsyth.