Ayden-Grifton wins 12th straight volleyball match

Ayden-Grifton wins 12th straight volleyball match

Ayden-Grifton’s Alexia Bryant prepares to serve in the Chargers’ victory against Williamston Riverside on Monday. Photo by William “Bud” Hardy / Neuse News

Chargers in three.

The narrative has repeated for more than a month with Ayden-Grifton continuing the story, defeating Williamston Riverside 25-8, 25-13, and 25-22 Monday at home. The Chargers (12-1) have won their 12th consecutive game, 11th by straight sets — a streak starting Aug. 16 against the Knights (10-3).

“It all starts with practice,” Alexia Bryant said. “We practice hard and then in games, we have the mindset of knowing nothing will be given to us. We’re already on top, so everyone’s gunning for us.”

Ayden-Grifton gave up the first point, then scored the next five to establish control. The Chargers would also go on runs of 10-0 and 5-0 in the opening set, wrapping it up with a Zion Hardy kill. The second set was more of the same, as Hardy’s kill started a 6-1 run to open, punctuated by Bryant’s spike. The Knights would get close the gap to 7-4, but another kill from Bryant sparked an 8-1 spurt to help the Chargers win handily.

Riverside opened with a flurry in the third set, going up 6-2 after a pair of service aces from JoGray Thomas. Ayden-Grifton trailed by as many as four but finally tied it up at 16 on a Bryant service ace. The Knights scored the next three, but the Chargers would go on a 6-1 run, including Jordan Cannon’s ace to take the lead 21-20 and Hardy’s subsequent kill to create space. Ayden-Grifton would later use Aaleyah Garris’ kill to end the match.

Garris was vocal throughout the game, calling out reads to her teammates.

“My coach says communication wins games, so we’ve got to talk so there’s no confusion, making sure everyone’s alert and on their toes,” Garris said. “I think it worked pretty good (Monday).”

Ayden-Grifton coach Linda Bryant said the first two sets were great, but the third had some moments where improvement was needed.

“There was a lack of communication in the third, but Aaleyah stepped up to talk it out with the rest of the team,” Bryant said. “In order for us to take our game to the next level, we have to be talkative and this was a prime example.”

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