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AJ downs Lady Knights in four sets
FRESHMAN LOGAN COATES HAD a handed out 34 assists in North Centrals AA Upper State semifinal loss at Andrew Jackson on Monday night in Kershaw. - photo by C-I photo by Tom Didato
There is an old sports adage about how tough it is to beat the same team three times in one season.Nobody learned that lesson any harder than did the North Central volleyball team which was eliminated from the AA Upper State tournament in a 3-1 loss to rival Andrew Jackson in a match played in front of an overflow crowd at the AJ gym in Kershaw on Monday night.The loss capped an 18-3 season for Andy Johnson’s second-ranked squad which breezed to the Region 3-AA title while having defeated its nearby rival, AJ, twice with a pair of 3-1 victories.On this night, it would be Lady Volunteers who got off to a quick start in winning the first set, 25-21, before NC evened things by taking the second in convincing fashion, 25-13.The hostesses rallied back and overcame a 23-19 deficit to win the third set, 26-24, before closing this one out with a 25-23 victory in the fourth set which led to the AJ faithful storming the court after their team had advanced to tonight’s AA Upper State finals.AJ will stay home for tonight’s match with Ninety-Six, a 3-1 winner over Crescent on Monday. The AA Lower State final will have Waccamaw traveling to meet Bishop England for the right to play in Saturday’s 1 p.m. state championship at White Knoll High School.As for Monday’s pairing in Kershaw, Johnson said the match was played in a raucous environment. He also said his team picked a bad night to not be on the top of their game.“It was a great atmosphere at Andrew Jackson and our fan support was unbelievable,” said the NC head coach.“We didn’t play our best.