Ask Northeast coach Otis Long what he hears from other county coaches about his team -- and prepare to duck.
"The coaches picked the All-County team last week, and none of our players were even mentioned," said the first-year coach. "They sold our team short. I don't even think [South River] took us seriously."
The Seahawks do now.
Northeast (9-6) rallied from a two-games-to-none deficit and a furious South River rally in the final game to defeat the host Seahawks, 3-15, 12-15, 16-14, 15-6, 15-12, in a Class 2A East Regional semifinal.
Northeast will meet Stephen Decatur in tomorrow's regional final. The site and time for that match had not been determined last night.
Andrea Williams led the Eagles with 12 kills and six aces. Setter Crissy Ciurca was 22 of 24 serving.
The Seahawks (11-6) were led by Mary Beth DuVall's 18 kills. Robin Catterton was 24 of 25 serving.
The Seahawks scored 11 of the first 12 points of the match and cruised in the first game. They added to the lead in Game 2, opening up an 11-2 advantage before an Eagles rally fell short.
Northeast gained momentum in the third game, jumping out to a 6-0 lead. The Seahawks tied the game at 14 before two Kelly Ciurca serves gave the Eagles Game 3.
"We started to talk more and played better as a team [in the third game]," said Williams, a junior setter. "We'd been down like this earlier this year, so we knew we could come back."
In the fourth game, the Eagles scored 13 of the first 14 points and squared the match at two games apiece.
In the fifth game, the Eagles took advantage of several South River service errors, broke a 4-4 tie, and built a 14-7 lead before the Seahawks rallied. South River cut the deficit to 14-12, but got no closer.
"We had too many errors, and we beat ourselves," said South River coach Maureen Carter. "I thought we were a more talented team, but we missed more serves in the final game [six] than we did the rest of the match. You can't give the other team that many chances and expect to win."
In the other Class 2A East Region semifinal, Kristen Hovance had a game-high 11 kills to lead host Stephen Decatur (11-6) over Southern-AA, 15-6, 15-11, 15-6. Jayme Lanham had nine service points, 21 assists and four aces, and Jodi Lanham had nine kills for the Seahawks.