- Last Updated on 08:19 AM 10/30/13
- BY Joe Chandler
Whitney White was like a whirlwind.
Three times as the Comets were trying to score the winning point in the third game of Monday night’s Piedmont District Volleyball Tournament quarterfinal match against Bassett High School White’s attacks at the net were rebuffed.
She went up a fourth time and slammed the ball across the left side of the net. Bassett defenders were unable to reach White’s final attack, and the ball hit the floor to give the Comets the point and the game and match win.
“I felt I could keep getting it (the ball) in,” White said.
“I just kept swinging. At first, when I blocked the ball I saw they (Bassett High School) players were on the right side. I saw one side was open and I just started hitting it right there.”
White had 31 attacks and 14 kills as the Comets swept Bassett High School in three straight games to win the best-of-five-game match and advance to tonight’s semifinal round at Tunstall High School where they will face Franklin County High School at 7:30 p.m.
Some of her Comets teammates attributed her high level of energy to a pre-match snack of pineapple.
“I ate a whole can,” White said with a huge grin.
“Everybody thought that’s what it was. Now they want me to keep eating pineapple.”
The Comets’ three-game sweep of Bassett High School by scores of 25-18, 25-19 and 25-22 was a contrast from the earlier meetings between the two teams. Halifax County High School won both of the two regular-season matches, but needed to go the full five-game limit before pulling out the win.
“We worked on some focus stuff in practice,” pointed out Comets Head Coach Tiffaney Bratton.
“I just explained to the girls that you can’t keep coming back from games, that you have to start out like you want to finish. I think we did that tonight.
“They (Bassett High School) took us to five games twice this season, and to come in and beat them definitively in three (games) is a real confidence booster and something we need,” Bratton added.
The Comets used their power game to gain the upper hand and set the tone early in the night. Along with White’s team-high 14 kills, Gabby Spainhour had 22 attacks and nine kills and Taylor Barnes logged 20 attacks and five kills.
With the exception of the second half of the final game, the Comets controlled the tempo and the match.
The Comets led by as many as nine points in the first game and led by 10 points at 21-11 in the second game. They led by as many as five points in the third game before the Bengals deadlocked the game at 13-13 and battled through five lead changes before the Comets scored the game-winning points.
“Definitely our power game and our hitting was good,” Bratton pointed out.
“But, we had a moment there (midway through the final game) where our passing went out, which happens to us. It’s something we’ve got to work on. We probably won’t come back if we make mistakes like that against Franklin County. Once we fix that, hopefully it will all come together.”
Bassett High School Head Coach Dyan Ragsdale said she had expected another close encounter with the Comets.
“We just didn’t play like the team we can play like,” Ragsdale said.
“We didn’t have much communication, so we didn’t play like that team that we did when we played Halifax at home and here (in South Boston). I thought we were playing better in the third game, but we just kind of fell apart at the very end.”
• Scores: Halifax County def. Bassett High School 25-18, 25-19, 25-22
Halifax County High School Statistical Leaders
• Attacks: White 31, Gabby Spainhour 22, Taylor Barnes 20, Chris Bradshaw 15
• Kills: White 14, Spainhour 9, Barnes 5, Bradshaw 2
• Blocks: White 4, Barnes 1
• Set Assists: Spainhour 40, Cecilie Elliott 25
• Digs: Megan Puckett 22, Barnes 21, Bradshaw 20, Elliott 8, Spainhour 7
• Service Points: Bradshaw 22 Elliott 20, Barnes 9, Spainhour 6, White 5
Bassett High School
• Kills: April Patterson 7, Taylor Mabry 6, Madison Haynes 5
• Blocks: Patterson 4, Haynes 1
• Digs: Mabry 15
• Service Points: Mabry, Hailey Helbert and Natalie Black 10 each