Photo by Lori PoteetSammy White had her best game of the year.
Photo by Lori Poteet

Sammy White had her best game of the year.
VEEDERSBURG -- The Southmont volleyball team completed step one of the postseason journey. Win and advance.

They did just that with a 3-1 win over Seeger Thursday at Fountain Central in Sectional 38.

The Mounties started off slow, something they've done frequently this season and something that has cost them. Seeger took advantage and the first set, 25-17. The Patriots went on an 11-0 run at one point that gave them the lead and all the momentum.

"I told them, we can't start like that," Southmont head coach Erin Barry said. "We have to start from serve one and play consistent throughout the entire match. We can't keep going up and down."

Southmont showed up in the second set. Things started with an ace from Kendra Conley, followed by a kill by Abby Bullerdick and a block from Veda Emerson. Back to back aces from Kaiti Chadd made it 6-2 and forced a Seeger timeout. Sammy White smacked down a block and a kill out of the break and Southmont went up as far as 10-4. White finished with 14 kills.

"White played amazing," Barry said. "She was the glue that got everyone going. Her actions got everyone else fired up. It's the best match she's played all year. It was true senior leadership tonight with her. That's for sure."

White added a kill and an ace in the next run as the Mounties ran away with the set. They wrapped it up with a block from Kasey Burton to make it 25-19. Burton had two blocks to go along with 17 digs from Chadd on defense.

Southmont carried the momentum into the third set, which got started on another kill from White. Seeger rallied to take a 7-2 lead, but Southmont answered and forced a Seeger timeout. Back to back kills by Burton and White gave the Mounties the lead for good. Brittany Barrett served nine straight points during the rally and ensuing lead establishment. The Mounties finished the set with another 25-19 final.

"I just told them they have to keep the ball in play. You can't win if you don't keep it in play," Barry said. "We have to eliminate the errors. That's been a factor all season. We just have to be mentally tough."

A Patriot comeback was not in order. Southmont set the tone with yet another ace to start the set, this time from White. She finished with seven aces. The Mounties jumped out to a 9-4 lead and extended it to 16-10, forcing Seeger to use both of its timeouts early on. Because of that, the Patriots had no escape of the final Mounties run, which finished the set, 25-15.

The Mounties (8-25) will now take on Clinton Central Saturday at 11 a.m. The Bulldogs (20-12) defeated Riverton Parke in three sets Thursday, 25-14, 25-11, 25-10.

"I'm a believer that at sectional time it's anyone's ballgame. Anyone can beat anyone at any time," Barry said.