Scotland coach Molly Hayes wants to see the team that played Tuesday’s first game against Pinecrest come out every time. If that happened, the games would be a little less dramatic. The Scots won the first set easily, 25-10. But the next three games were not as easy.
“I want that team to play all the time. We just get our confidence broken easily sometimes and have to work to get it back,” Hayes said.
The Scots would still go on to win the match in four games, 25-10, 17-25, 25-22 and 25-21, but not without having to rally a few times.
Despite winning the first game quickly and effectively, the Scots began to struggle in the second game when the Patriots put them out of their rhythm, and looked like a completely different squad. The game was back-and-forth until Pinecrest pulled away to win 25-17.
The Patriots kept rolling into the third game, which they opened with a 7-1 run. The Scots were the ones hitting the ball out of bounds and committing errors. At one point three Scotland players dove for a ball, and each missed it. Hayes called a timeout after the play and that seemed to change the course of the match.
“Sometimes you’ve just got to calm them down, and other times light a fire under them, to get them playing better again,” Hayes said.
Scotland rallied back to first tie the game, and then win 25-22. Scotland had regained its confidence and started getting the blocks and passes back that had been helping them all night long. The fourth set was another nail biter, although this time Scotland kept it even the entire time. A block from Avery Callahan and Jessie Kee tied the game at 20-20, and propelled Scotland to a 25-21 win to take the match in four games.
Hayes said she was pleased with her team’s distribution on the night, but wants to limit the number of service errors as they get into the thick of the conference schedule.
“We had good passing tonight. We just need to keep working on our communication and serve better. I feel like serving well is very important in conference play,” Hayes said.
Scotland’s main setter Avery Callahan continued to rack up the assists, totaling 35 against Pinecrest. Madaline Milholland benefited from the improved passing, finishing with 18 kills, while Kee added nine and Kenleigh Callahan seven.
Ashleigh Bailey lead the team defensively with 14 digs, and Milholland had 12.
Scotland improves to 8-1 this season, and 2-0 in the conference. They play Hoke at home on Thursday, with junior varsity beginning at 5 p.m. and varsity 20 minutes after the conclusion of that match.