South Lenoir collects three-set sweep of conference foe Greene Central
South Lenoir players listen to their coaches between the second and third set of their match against Greene Central on Tuesday afternoon. Photo by Rudy Coggins / Neuse News
DEEP RUN — South Lenoir stayed calm, cool and collected at the right time during its three-set sweep of Eastern Carolina 2-A rival Greene Central on Tuesday evening.
And kept chase with league-leading Ayden-Grifton.
The Blue Devils worked through some uncharacteristic miscues late in the second and third sets to pull off a 25-15, 26-24, 25-21 victory inside Munn Gymnasium.
South Lenoir (12-3 overall) improved to 7-2 overall in league play — 1 1/2 games behind the Chargers, who boast an 8-0 worksheet against conference opposition. The teams meet Thursday in Ayden.
"We stayed together," said SL head coach Lisa Smith. "Even when we made some mistakes, we still stayed positive and that's a good thing. Everybody supported each other."
Mary Grace Beyer delivered four kills during an opening-set, 8-1 run that caught the Rams off guard. The Blue Devils built a 10-point advantage and kept that margin as the first set ended.
The teams battled through five ties and two lead changes early in the second set.
Down 9-8, the Blue Devils forged ahead on individual kills from Beyer, Mallory Dawson, Alyssa Kopanski and Jessica Harris. Greene Central (6-12, 1-7 EC 2A) committed an attack error during the run, but refused to back down.
South Lenior extended the lead to five points and held set point at 24-19. The Rams tied the set on three unforced errors, a solo block by Madalyn Radford and a service ace from Meredith Warren-Lane.
Beyer gained a sideout on a monster kill. Lyndsay Williams capped the set with a kill off of an assist from Beyer.
"Greene Central is very scrappy and we made some mistakes and stuff, but I do like the fact that we stayed together," Smith said.
Set three resembled set two.
The teams traded errors, transition balls and clawed for every point.
Williams' kill down the line and consecutive unforced errors allowed South Lenoir to complete the three-set sweep, its 12th in 13 meetings against the Rams since 2013.
"We turned it on late today," said GC head coach Emily Nelson. "The girls have got to keep pushing ... every single game, point to point until the whistle."