ASHEBORO — Southwestern Randolph dropped its first set of the state playoffs but went on to defeat visiting McMichael in the fourth round in Class 2-A on Saturday.
The home-standing Cougars prevailed 22-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-21.
Payton Shiflet had 23 kills, 20 digs and three blocks, Madelyn Smith had 12 kills, Josie Allred had 10 kills and four blocks, Coley Shiflet had 21 digs, Carleigh Whitson had 15 digs and Raegan LeRoy had 46 assists and seven digs.
“McMichael beat us early in the season and knowing what they were capable of was helpful at times but also a struggle,” Southwestern Randolph coach Darby Kennedy said. “I think we started out playing not to lose and we had to adjust our mindset to ‘what needs to happen to win?”
Kennedy said the Cougars — who lost a set for the first time in the playoffs — “started out tight and nervous.”
“Our back row had a great performance against a strong hitting team which carried us through our offense struggles at times,” Kennedy said. “I couldn’t be more proud of these girls and the continued effort they put in each and every day.”
The Cougars (26-5) will be back in action in the regional final Tuesday night at top-seeded East Surry.