LAURINBURG — An up and down week ended on a high note for the Lady Scots volleyball team as they put away conference foe Jack Britt in three sets.
Halfway through Thursday’s first set the Lady Scots found their groove going on an 8-0 run against the Lady Buccaneers to take a 20-9 lead. An unforced error on the Lady Scots gave Jack Britt the ball back momentarily. A serve into the net by the Lady Bucs sealed their fate in the first set as the Lady Scots earned the 25-12 win.
Jack Britt came out stronger in the beginning of the second set, but the Lady Scots were firing on all cylinders racking up point after point. The lack of production forced Jack Britt to call a timeout after an ace by Lady Scots senior Macie Gibson made it a 13-5 Scotland lead.
The Lady Scots continued to play at the level head coach Mallory Wheeler has come to demand from them as they rolled to a 25-15 second set victory.
“I’ve tried to take a new direction with the girls and try to get them to relax, especially after a week of losses they started to play really tense,” she said. “I told them to go out and have fun, play your game. They are really responding to that. I’ve seen them come out and beat a team like that in game one then roll over but they put the pressure on for three straight games against a great team.”
The Lady Scots opened the third set on a 5-0 run courtesy of a kill by Nahir Pegues, an ace by senior Kandon Luquer and a rotation error on Jack Britt. The Lady Bucs scored one point following a timeout, but abruptly gave the ball back to the Lady Scots.
With a 19-12 lead the Lady Scots looked ready to pack up and go home, but Jack Britt showed some fight late in the set with a kill to pull within six points. Two kills by Lady Scots sophomore Skyler York was just the boost the Lady Scots need to finish the game strong and pick up the 25-17 win.
“I’m super proud of them. We had lost to them (Jack Britt) already this year so we knew they were a great team. We knew it was a huge win for us in terms of where we stand in the conference,” said Wheeler.
When the two teams met in August, the Lady Scots lost a close five-set match to the Lady Buccaneers, a game that Wheeler admits her team could have won.
“That was our first away game and it was a tough five-game match. It was a heart breaker, I thought they were definitely a team we could beat, but they just out played us that night,” she said. “We were a little bit more high air then, our hitters are beginning to understand you don’t have to go up and hit the ball as hard as you can to score. They are starting to play smarter and it’s really working for us.”
With the win, the Lady Scots improve to 10-6 overall and 5-3 in Sandhills Athletic Conference play while Jack Britt move to 10-4 overall and 5-3 in conference play.
Richmond still leads the SAC-8 standings at 8-0 with Pinecrest in second at 5-2. The Lady Scots and Jack Britt are currently tied for third place at 5-3 followed by Hoke at 4-4, Purnell Swett and Lumberton are tied at 2-6 and Seventy-First is sitting in eighth at 0-7.
Amber Hatten can be reached at 910-506-3170.