After their three-game victory over the Richmond Raiders Tuesday night, the varsity volleyball Fighting Scots moved to 20-0 on the season and further solidified their growing reputation as one of the best teams in North Carolina.
Yet, once the gym cleared out, the varsity girls began to run suicide sprints with David Barnes and the rest of the Scotland coaching staff presiding over the post-game workout.
The reason? Scotland allowed the Raiders to score more than 12 points in two of the three games that the Fighting Scots won 25-14, 25-18 and 25-11.
“It’s easy to to get unfocused when you know you’re better than your opponent,” said Barnes while his team ran sprints for each combined point that Richmond scored past 12 in the three games played. “We agreed to run after our match because we are trying to cut off that feeling of playing down to competition because we need to stay focused with what’s to come. They would either have to hustle during the match or hustle afterwards.”
The Tuesday night match between the Scots and Raiders was the second round of the 4-A Southeastern Conference tournament. Scotland received a first-round bye due to their unbeaten regular season, while Richmond was fresh off an epic five-game match against the Lumberton Pirates which took place Monday night.
Though they were competitive in spurts, the Raiders were simply overpowered by a Scots team motivated to win its eighth-consecutive conference championship.
After a 25-14 win in the first game, Richmond would come out strong in the second, hanging with the Scots in the opening minutes. But when she dropped back to serve, Scotland’s Avery Callahan would be the player to help her teammates regain their dominant form. Callahan notched many of her 13 assists on the night in the second game, and a serving ace from her would spark a 5-0 Scotland run that would permanently give them the lead for the duration of the game.
An assist from Brianna Harris (who had a team-high 22 against Richmond) would set up an emphatic kill for Libby Ingram that closed the door on the Raiders’ hopes for a second game comeback.
The third game then began: And as they’ve seemingly done all season, Scotland played their strongest once they knew a victory was imminent.
Scotland stormed out to an 8-0 lead in the third game, as Caroline Pridgen fired kill after kill right at a Richmond team that, like every opponent she’s faced throughout her career, couldn’t stop her attack. Pridgen finished with a game-high 19 kills, while Ingram collected 13 kills as well.
Pridgen would also be a force at the net along with Maddie Milholland, as both players helped stifle Richmond’s offensive rhythm with a few well-timed blocks. And Greta Griswold once again proved her all-around ability by leading the team with seven digs and 22 of 29 passes on target. Griswold also had six serving points as well.
With the win over the Raiders, Scotland has once again set up a home confrontation with chief rival Pinecrest (their third of the season) that will take place at 6:00 p.m. Wednesday evening.
And Scotland’s 4-A state playoffs fate has been decided as well. A number one seed in the tournament, the Fighting Scots will host Southeast Raleigh this Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.