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Volleydogs take down Chapin to grab No. 1 seed

Posted: October 19, 2012 12:07 p.m.
Updated: October 22, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Getting payback and the top seed for the state playoffs all in the same night: It could not get much better for the Camden High volleyball team.
When the Lady Bulldogs first met Chapin this season, Camden left Lexington County with its first region loss in more than five seasons in falling to the Lady Eagles, 3-1.
Paige Wilson’s team turned the tables on Chapin Thursday, sweeping all three games while earning the top seed for Region 4-AAA in the process.
Camden will play host to Blue Ridge, the fourth-place finisher from Region 2, in Tuesday’s first round of the AAA Upper State tournament. That best-of-five match will begin at 6 p.m. Should the Lady Bulldogs come away with the victory, they will host the winner of the West-Oak vs. Clinton match on Thursday in a 6 p.m. start.
Camden avenged its lone league loss of the season on Thursday as both the Lady Bulldogs and Chapin finished with identical 9-1 marks in Region 4-AAA.
By virtue of the three-game sweep, Camden was declared the first seed from the conference while Chapin is the second seed. Had the Lady Bulldogs needed four or more games to close out Chapin, the tie-breaker would not have been in their favor and the roles could have been reversed.
Needing a sweep to get the top seed, it took some holding of the hostesses’ collective breath in game one as Camden held Chapin on three game-point opportunities before coming away with a 28-26 victory which kept the number one seed in play for Wilson and company.
“Pulling out a close game one was the key,” Wilson said of how the opener set the tone for the evening. “Holding them on three game points was huge.”
Playing what their coach called a “confident and steady game,” Camden took the second contest, 25-18.
But the middle game was not without a scare when Lady Bulldog’s front row player, Danielle Case, went down with an ankle injury which sidelined her for the remainder of the evening.
“Before her injury,” Wilson said of Case, “Danielle was a key blocker at the net with three big blocks. Owens Morgan stepped in to fill her spot and did very well, including getting the final kill for the match. Caroline Kelly stepped in to serve for us, as well. 
“It’s hard to come in suddenly like that and they both did just what we needed.”
The home team ended this one early in scoring a 25-21 victory in the finale. “We played well in game three,” Wilson said. “It got a little close mid-game, but we stayed focused and strong.
“Overall, it was a great team effort. We knew what we had to do and we did it. We stayed focused and intense the entire match.”
Along the net, North Carolina State-bound senior Maggie Speaks had nine kills on a 25-for-29 night with her blasts. Lindsey Cobb had 11 kills on a 21-for-26 evening while Brooke Maxwell found the floor with eight kills as she was 18-for-21. One player, who Wilson said  stepped up her game on Thursday was sophomore Michaela Taylor who had a pair of kills on an 8-of-11 night.
Passing-wise, Morgan Wilson was on the mark with 38 of her 42 passes. Adry Joseph was 20-for-26 to target while Maxwell was 13-for-16.
“Our defense was much better in this match,” Wilson said. “I was very pleased about that.  We worked well together and it paid off.”
Speaks had seven blocks on the night while Case had three in less than two games of action before her injury.
Wilson said Camden had a solid team effort from the service stripe, at key times, while adding that Speaks and Kaitlyn Riley shared the setting roles and “both made good decisions on the court.”
Camden is guaranteed of playing its first two matches at home in the Upper State tournament. Should the Region 2 champion win its first two pairings, it would host next Monday’s third round pairing in the Upstate.
Wilson is not looking that far down the road, however. She is only concerned with Tuesday’s home match with Blue Ridge.
“We need Bulldog fans to come out and support us,” Wilson said. “We would love to see some new fans.”

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