Lady Tigers volleyball remains undefeated with 1st-round win over visiting Owen on Tuesday night

Lady Tigers’ senior outside hitter Michelle Thao (10) collected 14 kills and 7 digs in the 3-0 home victory over Owen in the first round of the 2A West state playoffs on Tuesday. (O-N-E photo by Brian Hendrix)Foard senior outside hitter Megan Dorsey garnered 10 kills, 13 digs, two aces and two blocks in Tuesday’s first-round win on Linda Richards Court. (O-N-E photo by Brian Hendrix)
Marcus Smith
Sports Editor

Everyone knows that playoff action is the beginning of essentially a whole new season.

Win-loss records are tossed out the window and anything can happen. For Fred T. Foard's varsity volleyball program, it began its North Carolina High School Athletic Association 2A state playoff push on Linda Richards Court against visiting Charles D. Owen on Tuesday, Jan. 12.

The defending 2A state champion Lady Tigers went unbeaten during the regular season with a 14-0 overall record, as well as in the Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference.

In each of those contests, Foard didn't lose a single set. Nevertheless, after coming out looking like the force it was accustomed to being in the first set – winning 25-5 – things began to shift in the following sets.

Mind you, the Lady Tigers ultimately took control for the 3-0 sweep – its 15th of the season – but something looked a bit off, especially in the second set.

“We came out really strong,” said Lady Tigers head coach Meredith Lombardi. “I think it's just the whole vibe of the playoffs. Everyone's excited about playoffs, and we've waited so long I think to get to this point that we did come out very strong...I give it to Owen because I don't really know much about them...but they came in, they stepped up their game I think...There was a good little volleyball team (there). They were scrappy. They got stuff over. I mean, that's what we need to see in the first round, and I give it to them. They did a really good job.

“We were very roller-coaster, up and down, up and down...At this point, where we are, we got to take it to the teams every single game because our target on our back is quite large I think. So, we can't just come into gyms and just show up. We got to play our game. We've got to take it to them because I do think from the top of the line up to the bottom, we're a pretty strong program...We've got to show that every time we come into someone's gym or someone comes here.”

Read more in the Thursday edition of the O-N-E.