The Scotland High School volleyball program’s sustained success has almost made their 2010 accomplishment seem mundane, but in our eighth installment of the 2010 Year in Review, we look at the amazing season the Scotland squad had this year.
The program went 25-1 with a perfect mark in conference play, rolling to an unblemished 10-0 record in Southeastern Conference play.
The team earned another conference crown in 2010 while advancing to the fourth round of the state tournament.
The team’s efforts were recognized both in the conference and regionally, as a bevy of players were named to the all-conference team, with head coach David Barnes tabbed as the conference’s Coach of the Year.
The Scots also had two players named to The Fayetteville Observer regional squad; with sophomore Caroline Pridgen named the Cape Fear Player of the Year.
Here’s a look at what happened on the court in 2010:
The Scots opened up the 2010 season without any troubles, rolling through Jack Britt, Cape Fear, Carolina Forest and Gray’s Creek before hitting conference play.
Scotland started off their 2010 conference slate against Purnell Swett, sweeping the Rams 3-0 in an early display of how their SEC foes would be handled this season.
The team blew by their conference competition on their way to a perfect 10-0 record, clinching the conference’s regular season title with a 3-0 win over Pinecrest on Oct. 5.
The Scots ended their regular season on senior night, toppling Richmond 3-0, sending seniors Sarah Laviner and Ashley Paolozzi out with a win in their final home game.
Scotland posted scores of 25-11, 25-12 and 25-14 to top the Raiders, barely breaking a sweat in the SEC conference victory.
Scotland faced off against the Raiders in their next match to open up the SEC conference tournament, again blasting Richmond 3-0 in the semifinals.
In the conference championship, Pinecrest and Scotland faced off for the rights to the 2010 crown, with Scotland taking home the 3-1 win.
The victory didn’t come easy for the Scots who dropped their second set to the Patriots, edging Pinecrest in a hard-fought match that tested Scotland’s resolve.
Barnes said that despite the team’s lackluster effort in the conference title match, he liked that his team never gave up.
“We fought hard,” Barnes said. “We had to fight hard. We came out during our sets and during the middle of them we played awful. I didn’t like what I saw. But, we did battle back and we never gave up. The execution tonight wasn’t fantastic, but I did like their effort and will tonight.”
Pridgen led Scotland with 28 kills in the four-set thriller, with Jonissa Monley and Taborah Hollingsworth adding 10 kills apiece at the net.
With the conference title in hand, Scotland marched into the state tournament with a 22-0 record, prepared for whatever their opponents threw their way.
In the state tournament, Scotland opened with Smithfield Selma at home, taking a 3-0 win. Despite the score, the team came out sluggish, earning just a 25-20 win in the first set before posting marks of 25-18 and 25-10 to close the contest.
Pridgen had nine kills in the match with Sarah Cross and Jessica Bowen accounting for 10 serving points apiece.
Barnes was livid with his team’s play after the game, stating that if they continued to go through the motions, they would find themselves in trouble.
“I didn’t like much at all about the game,” Barnes said. “I was totally frustrated with the way we were playing. We seemed to be lethargic, we weren’t intense, we didn’t get after it and I have no explanation for why we came out and played as bad as we did. We don’t plan to prepare like that, we don’t plan to play like that and anymore performances like that with the way this tournament goes, we’ll be sitting in the bleachers watching other people play the next game,” Barnes said.”
Barnes’ words struck home with the Scots, as the team posted wins in their next two tournament games, beating Jack Britt and West Johnston a combined 6-1 score to reach the state sectionals.
There, Scotland would take their only loss of the year, falling to JH Rose 3-0 on Oct. 30 to end their season. Barnes knew it would be a tough task against the nation’s 10th ranked team, but he saw his team play well against the state’s top program.
“Individually some of our players played exceptionally well against some tough competition,” Barnes said. “We knew going in that it would be a tough game. Rose has won back-to-back state titles and three of their hitters hit over .400 from the field. We served tough and tried to get them out of their offense, but they worse us down and we had no answers for their hitters.”
To cap off their 2010 season, five Scotland High School volleyball players were named to the Southeastern Conference's all-conference team, the most of any team in the SEC.
Pridgen, Laviner, Paolozzi, Cross and Hollingsworth made the all-conference squad, with Barnes named Coach of the Year.
“Through great team play and great team work five individuals were selected to the all-conference team,” Barnes said. “Let’s not forget what these girls did as a team. They won their sixth conference championship in a row, made their ninth straight trip to the state playoffs and were the district champs for the second time since 2008,” Barnes said. “They certainly deserved the honor.”
Pridgen, Laviner and Barnes were later recognized by The Fayetteville Observer with spots on the all-Cape Fear list, with Pridgen taking home Player of the Year honors.
Pridgen finished the year as the school’s all-time hitting percentage leader, hitting .392 to best the old record by almost 100 points. Pridgen had 303 kills and 31 blocks in 2010.
Laviner was named to the first-team all-Cape Fear Region squad, leading the Scots with a school record 299 serving points and 319 digs.
Barnes was named the region’s Coach of the Year, earning his second coaching honor during the 2010 season.
The season also saw setter Hailey Morgan break the school record with 699 setting assists and Greta Griswold earned a spot in the record books with a 98 percent serving percentage in 2010.