PETTICOAT JUNCTION — Despite playing a tougher third game, Silver Bluff failed to get past its playoff roadblock for the third consecutive year.
Silver Bluff was eliminated from the South Carolina Class AA volleyball playoffs, losing 3-0 to Academic Magnet in the second round Wednesday.
The Lady Raptors knocked the Lady Bulldogs from the tournament for the third consecutive season. Academic Magnet had previously defeated Silver Bluff in the first round the past two years.
“We knew we were going up against a good team,” Silver Bluff coach Holly Kwaitkowski said. “We played them better than we did last year, that’s for sure. So we’re improving.”
Silver Bluff entered this year’s playoffs with its best standing since 2010, winning the Region 5-AA championship with a 9-1 record and opening as a No. 1 seed for the first time since that year.
The Lady Bulldogs also won a playoff game for the first time since 2010, defeating Battery Creek in the first round Monday.
The No. 2-seed Lady Raptors jumped to an 8-0 lead in the first game and breezed to a 25-11 win. They followed with an equally dominant 25-9 win in the second game.
The Lady Bulldogs fought back in the final game, holding a 17-15 lead before the Lady Raptors went on a 10-2 run to win 25-19.
“I’m proud of them for not giving up, for fighting. We didn’t roll over,” Kwaitkowski said. “Since we only have one senior, we have a lot of talent coming back. Hopefully, we make it further next year.”
Silver Bluff returns all but one player – Deza Parker – for next year’s team. The senior setter was the captain and ended her high school career by recording 16 assists.
“It was a good season,” Parker said. “It started off bad, but through region we only lost one game, so I’m happy about that. I wish the best for them next year.”