North Lenoir hopes to continue impact in ECC
North Lenoir’s Integrity McPhail prepares a serve during the Hawks’ scrimmage against Wilson Fike Saturday. Photo by William ‘Bud’ Hardy / Neuse News
LA GRANGE — North Lenoir’s volleyball program has been consistently strong over the years, and the team wants to take another step in 2019.
North Lenoir hasn’t missed the postseason in more than a decade, but the Hawks haven’t won there since a fourth-round appearance in 2015. The team went 16-5 last year and finished second in the Eastern Carolina Conference, but was upset in a four-set match with Roanoke Rapids.
This season, a senior-laden squad is looking to make a significant impact in 2019. North Lenoir coach Heather Carson said there are positives to take heading into a road matchup with Southern Wayne Aug. 20 to start the year.
“I think we’ve had some great moments in practices and scrimmages, but we have to start talking more,” North Lenoir coach Heather Carson said. “Communication is important in volleyball, but we have been looking good with our hitting and serving.”
Kennedy Santes said there’s been tremendous growth from the first day.
“It feels like a new team, but we’re playing to each other’s strengths now,” Santes said. “That first practice was rough, but we’ve definitely improved from there — we work well together and help each other out.”
Reena Parris said the team is developing and cleaning up weaknesses.
“We’re definitely working on our communication and getting better in practice,” Parris said. “I feel like we’ll get even stronger as the season starts.”
Overall, Carson said the ability is there, along with the enthusiasm.
“The girls are excited to get the season started and I think we’ve got the potential for a great one,” Carson said. “We have to be consistent, but if we can do that we’ll be great.”