Up & Coming Weekly

October 10, 2017

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

Issue link: http://www.epageflip.net/i/885414

Contents of this Issue


Page 32 of 40

32 UCW OCTOBER 11 - 17, 2017 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM The players who stand in the shadow of the net and soar to make dramatic spikes draw most of the attention in volleyball. But Cape Fear coach Jeff Bruner said you shouldn't overlook the players in the back row, the ones who dive to the floor and make spectacular saves to spark a rally. "We've sustained big rallies, and we've never done that with- out some miraculous dig that's taken place from Marlie Horne or Taylor Melvin,'' he said. "It takes one spectacular play from them, and lo and behold, we score seven points in a row.'' The defense sparked by Horne and Melvin has been a key factor in Cape Fear's run to the Patriot Athletic Conference regular-season championship in volleyball. The title came after Bruner made some major changes in both his offensive and defen- sive alignments this season. "I don't mind each year taking the pieces we have and going a different direction if we have to,'' Bruner said. "It was a total redraw- ing of the playbook. Toward the middle of the season they started to become comfortable with it.'' Horne felt the team adapted fair- ly quickly. "We have a smart group of girls that can adjust easily,'' she said. "We all play travel ball.'' Melvin agreed with Bruner that the role of the defense is critical to making offense work. "If you get a good pass, the setter has more options,'' she said. "A good pass means a hitter will probably get a good set. A good pass equals a good hit.'' Melvin said now that the playoffs are approaching, the Colts can't give up and need to keep pushing. "We've got to adjust to the things the other team does if we want to win,'' she said. "We've got to keep our heads up, work on individual stuff and cover the floor. Work hard on and off the court.'' One challenge for the Colts in this year's state playoffs is they've moved from the 4-A to the 3-A classification, which means they'll likely be facing some teams they're not familiar with. "I don't think we have a very good handle on esti- mating who we are going to play in the first couple of rounds,'' Bruner said. "Once we see who it might be, we're going to have a plan B ready so we can change to that team. We'll have different strategies based on what team we are playing.'' The N.C. High School Athletic Association volley- ball playoffs begin Oct. 21. Defensive Stars key to Cape Fear Volleyball by EARL VAUGHAN JR. HIGH SCHOOL HIGHLIGHTS Young Terry Sanford Team Finds way to Tennis Title by EARL VAUGHAN JR. With the top three players from last year graduated, 2017 quali- fied as the nearest thing Terry Sanford girls' tennis has had to a rebuilding year. That's not how things wound up. Bulldogs coach Mandy McMillan's charges rolled to the regular season title in the new Patriot Athletic Conference and now prepare for what they hope will be another successful run in the state 3-A playoffs. The biggest surprise for McMillan is how the young players in the line- up have stepped up, as Melissa Lu at No. 1 singles is the only senior in her top six. "The young ones on the team have played their hearts out,'' McMillan said. "They have blown it out of the water. They are going to be really fierce the next couple of years, and people need to look out for them.'' One thing the squad misses being in the new confer- ence is the annual battles with Union Pines in the old Cape Fear Valley 3-A. More than one player on this year's team feels the Union Pines duels helped prepare Terry Sanford for tough compe- tition in the postseason. "I liked playing them to get the competition,'' said Leah McDonough, who plays No. 3 singles. No. 2 singles player Ritika Shamdasani agreed. "It was great practice to play with those girls,'' she said. "That was probably one of our biggest matches of the season. Always very competitive.'' But Shamdasani feels this Bulldog team has come together with a lot of support. "It was a combination of our girls' spirit, and our coach has always been amaz- ing,'' she said. "The school itself is really supportive. All that combined to create a really good tennis year.'' But it's not over, and as No. 1 singles player Lu said, there's a lot of tennis season left after the regu- lar season is over. "With tennis, you like to think of the long run,'' Lu said. "We've kept the same attitude.'' Lu is still weighing the decision if she'll play singles or doubles in the postseason. "Nothing is set in stone,'' she said. "We're still figuring that out as a team.'' McMillan said one of her main concerns for the postseason is making sure her team has the stamina to deal with tough matches. "One of the things I saw last year when we went to tiebreakers was they were getting tired easy,'' she said. "I tried to incorporate conditioning to prepare them for these long matches. "As long as we can keep the mental game strong and keep them straight mentally, we're going to do really well.'' N.C. High School Athletic Association regional competition in girls' tennis begins Oct. 20-21. EARL VAUGHAN JR., Sports Editor. COMMENTS? EarlUCWS- ports@gmail.com. (910) 364-6638. L-R: Taylor Melvin, Jeff Bruner, Marlie Horne Terry Sanford top six: Melissa Lu, Ritika Shamdasani, Leah McDonough, Esther Abraham, Lauren McDonough. Not pictured: Katy Beasley. Attention Students: Let Your Voice Be Heard Get published in our award-winning community newspaper Up & Coming Weekly Send in your feature articles, editorials, short stories, movie and music reviews or original poetry and artwork to: highschoolhighlights@upandcomingweekly.com Subject line: High School Highlights Please include your photo and school information. Attention Students: Do you have a story or idea to share with High School Highlights? Email us at highschoolhighlights@upandcomingweekly.com

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of Up & Coming Weekly - October 10, 2017