Spring Valley opened the Class 4A state volleyball playoffs with a solid 3-0 win over visiting Gaffney on Tuesday night. It was Vikings’ first match of the season in the school’s renovated main gymnasium.
Deanna Rudnik’s Region 4 championship squad was a little inconsistent on the attack, but still had little trouble dispatching the Indians from Cherokee County – 25-16, 25-17, 25-12.
“It was a little bumpy at first, but we got it together,” said Rudnik, whose team sports a 13-1 non-tournament record. “We’ve been pretty consistent for the most part this season with our passing and serving, running the offense and playing tough defense. The key is staying consistent.”
Cristina Nazario had an outstanding all-around performance in the playoff opener. The junior setter finished with 31 assists, five kills, three aces and one block.
The hitting load was shared by seniors Amanda Rudnik (10 kills) and Wanda Owoh (seven kills) and sophomore Katelyn McDaniel (eight kills). Owoh also chipped in with four aces and one block. McDaniel also had three blocks.
Senior Kynyata Simmons had a solid outing, as well, with four kills, two aces and one assist.
Gaffney’s biggest lead of the night was 7-5 in the first game. The tribe’s last advantage was at 4-3 in the second game.
With the win, the Vikings ended a three-game, first-round playoff losing streak.
Spring Valley hosts defending 4A state champion Dorman in second-round play on Thursday.