The Fort Dorchester volleyball team defeated Irmo 3-1 Tuesday to advance in the state playoffs.
The Patriots earned a 25-13,25-14, 23-25, 25-18 win to advance to the second round for possibly the first time.
“We haven’t done that since I’ve been the coach and I don’t think we have done it at all, at least not since we’ve been a 4-A team,” Fort Dorchester coach Tarshie Burrell said.
Fort Dorchester jumped ahead early in the first two games to cruise to victory. However, Irmo played like a team that didn’t want its season to end the rest of the match.
“It was a challenging match,” Fort Dorchester captain Meghan Sanders said. “We lost our intensity for a little but then we picked it back up and played well. Now we just need to keep playing as a family and go all-in during our practices and matches.”
The third game saw many ties but the Yellow Jackets finished strong for a two-point victory.
After a 15-15 stalemate in the fourth game, Patriot junior Kira Ozegovich found some holes in the Irmo defense to lead the Fort to a seven-point victory.
Junior Monica Mack led the Fort scorers in the match, knocking down 12 kills and contributing a few blocks for points. Ozegovich finished with six kills and five scoring blocks and senior Jasmine Quinn had five kills, three scoring blocks and two service aces. Junior Amanda Gluck and senior Kristen Lodge also had strong nights offensively.
Fort Dorchester improved to 25-5 on the season with the win and hosted South Aiken for a second-round match played Thursday after press time. South Aiken up set Carolina Forest to advance.
If the Patriots won Thursday, they will travel to the winner of the Aiken/West Ashley match for the third round Nov. 5. Burrell says her strategy for the remainder of the playoffs is to get her team’s focus on executing the things it does best rather than attempting to counter what the opposition does well.
“I research the teams we are going to face but I don’t talk to my players about them much because if you put too much emphasis on what another team does it can psych your players out,” she said. “We just go into every match with an open mind and expecting things to be level.”
Both the other Dorchester Two volleyball teams were eliminated from the playoffs Tuesday. Ashley Ridge lost to West Ashley and Summerville lost to Wando.
Contact Roger Lee @ 873-9424 ext. 213 or firstname.lastname@example.org