LAURINBURG — There were no tears as the Lady Scots six senior volleyball players and their families were introduced on Tuesday — they were on a mission redemption mission.
Nahir Pegues, Mason Roberts, Kandon Luquer, Ashley McGugan, Macie Gibson and Daizha McMillan walked out onto the court with their parents of their final home game. Each received bags of goodies, balloons and hugs from family before smiling for a few photos — after that it was time to go to work.
The Lady Scots lost a surprising match to Lumberton last month 3-0, a game that many thought would be a cake walk for the team. That proved not to be the case and the Lady Scots were ready to prove their previous game against the Lady Pirates was just a bad day at the office.
The first match saw the Lady Scots senior take care of business jumping out to a 19-9 lead before Lumberton called its second time out. The Lady Scots kept the pressure on and finished out the game with a 25-13 victory. The first half of the second set was smooth sailing but Lumberton hung around as the Lady Scots started to let off the gas.
Unforced errors by the Lady Scots with serves into the net, double hits and kills out of bounds Lumberton whittled the Lady Scots lead to four, 24-20. A kill hit out of bounds by the Lady Pirates gave Scotland the 25-20 second set win.
The third set was not a pretty performance by the Lady Scots, they were ready to pack up and go home and Lumberton wasn’t.
Lumberton jumped out to an early lead, courtesy of errors by the Lady Scots, before tying the game at 18. The match went back-and-forth as the teams traded points. Lady Scots head coach Mallory Wheeler called time out with her team down 22-23 to try and refocus her team.
Following the time out, Lumberton hit the ball into the net which tied the match at 23. A block by the Lady Pirates set up match point, 23-24 but a serve into the net gave the Lady Scots the ball back.
Sophomore Skyler York tipped the ball into the Lumberton defense to put her team up, 25-24 but a lift call by the official knotted the game yet again. York redeemed herself for the lift call with a block to put the Lady Scot sup 26-25.
Senior Kandon Luquer finished the night for her team with an ace into the heart of the Lady Pirates defense for the 27-25 win.
“Coming in it was a little bit of redemption, the first two games it was like how did we lose to this team? In the third game I think we got a little lax and the girls let up,” said Wheeler. “Lumberton is a scrappy team that has heart and that’s what happened there. A win is a win, it’s great on senior night to send the girls out with a win. This is a great group of girls, I’m really going to miss all of them.”
Wheeler had nothing but positive things to say about each of her six seniors, who according to her bring a “big chunk to our team and it’s six big losses we’re taking next year.”
“Ashley has really come a long way and has been a great force for us in the middle. Kandon was outstanding, her offense was very good and got us the win on that last ace. Macie is awesome, she’s all over the place. Mason, who is recovering from a concussion, has heart like I’ve never seen,” Wheeler said. “Daizha came in and played really hard. She doesn’t get a whole bunch of playing time but I was super proud of her. Nahir, is a powerhouse hitter and I think she played great and finished out her career at Scotland on a very high note.”
With the win, the Lady Scots improve to 14-8 overall and 8-5 in Sandhills Athletic Conference play while Lumberton falls to 8-12 overall and 4-9 in SAC-8 play.
The Lady Scots remain tied with Hoke for third place at 8-5 in conference play with Pinecrest in second at 9-4 and Richmond undefeated at 13-0.
Scotland wraps up their season on Thursday on the road in Rockingham. The Lady Scots hope to knock off the undefeated Lady Raiders — who they lost to back in September 3-0 — on their Senior Night with matches beginning at 5 p.m.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.