LAURINBURG — The first-round curse lives on.
The Lady Scots volleyball team was eliminated in the first round of the 4A playoffs for the fourth season in a row on Saturday.
No. 16 Scotland hosted Myers Parks, the No. 17 seed in the West Region, and fell in three games, 17-25, 18-25 and 21-25.
Despite earning the higher seed and hosting their first playoff game since 2014, the deck still seemed stacked against the Lady Scots.
The team came out strong in both the first and second sets, but fizzled out halfway through each set. The Lady Scots battled back from a huge deficit in the third game, but Myers Park closed out the match with a four-point victory.
Lady Scots first-year head coach Mallory Wheeler was disappointed by the loss and felt her team should have been able to hold their own against the Lady Mustangs.
“I don’t think we could have been set up in a much better situation, we got the higher seed and we got to play at home in the playoffs,” Wheeler told WLNC. “We played Mallard Creek last year and they were the better team. I don’t necessarily think this team was and that’s the most disheartening thing.”
It was the first time in two years the Lady Scots opened the 4A playoffs against a team other than Mallard Creek.
Wheeler said she didn’t see the fight in her girls on Saturday like they had shown in previous matches during the regular season.
“Every time out I called I told them you have to want it, you can’t just say it. We have to play like you want it and they didn’t. They didn’t have the fight and it makes me wonder. I’m pretty sure my girls wanted it, but Myers Park wanted it more,” she said.
The Lady Scots finished the season 15-11 overall, their first 15-win season since 2013 when the team finished 20-3 and were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by J.H. Rose.
Sandhills Athletic Conference regular season champion and conference tournament champion No. 2 Richmond will play it’s first tournament match on Oct. 24. The Lady Raiders earned a first-round bye and will host No. 15 Lady Norman in Rockingham at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
No. 9 Pinecrest defeated No. 24 Grimsley in four sets 25-15, 25-23, 19-25 and 25-22 and will travel to No. 8 Davie on Tuesday.
No. 18 Hoke fell to No. 15 Lake Norman in three sets to end the Lady Bucks season. In the East Region, No. 18 Jack Britt fell to No. 15 Sanderson in three sets, 25-7, 25-15 and 25-9.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.