NL volleyball sweeps third straight opponent
North Lenoir coach Heather Carson talks to her team after the Hawks won Tuesday's contest with Farmville Central in straight sets. Photo by Junious Smith III / Neuse News
LA GRANGE -- After stumbling in its season-opener, the North Lenoir volleyball team has been sailing smoothly since.
The Hawks improved to 3-1 after defeating Farmville Central 25-20, 25-14, 25-18 at home Tuesday. North Lenoir won its third straight contest in straight sets and although Farmville Central (0-3) made it interesting in spurts, the Hawks prevailed.
“I think the defense stepped it up and our offense at the net got much better (as the game went on),” Hawks coach Heather Carson said. “We got players where they needed to be to set and our hitters were able to attack very well.”
Farmville Central started the game with a 13-4 advantage, punctuated by a Lauryn Pitt service ace, but North Lenoir clawed back, finding holes in the Jaguars’ defense and eventually taking a 16-15 lead on a Gabby Stallings ace. The teams traded the next six points before Stallings’ kill gave the Hawks a bit of breathing room. The Jaguars got within 21-20, but the Hawks closed out the set with four straight, including a Kennedy Sullivan ace.
The second set was highly contested early with seven ties and five lead changes. FC took a 10-9 lead, but North Lenoir exploded with an 11-1 run to break it open. The Jaguars got within 21-14, but Paytyn Jones’ subsequent kill started another 4-0 streak to end a set.
“We definitely talked more (later in the game) and started hitting more, which really helped us,” Jones said.
North Lenoir went up 4-2 in the third set, but Farmville Central scored four straight, highlighted by a Kenya Pittman kill and Abby Foster service ace. The Hawks took control with a 9-1 run to go ahead 13-7, including two aces from Reena Parris, one from Summer Spence and a Paula Mason kill. Farmville Central got no closer than three from there and Amber Davenport’s hit ended the game.
Stallings said she’s seen plenty of positives from a young roster, including three starting sophomores in Jones, Parris and Sullivan.
“We’ve learned how to work together, learn each other’s strengths and help on the weaknesses,” Stallings said. “We’re just taking it one game at a time.”
Jones had nine kills and three blocks for North Lenoir with Stallings adding seven kills and two blocks. Davenport had 18 assists and 12 service points for the Hawks with Sullivan adding six digs.