Patriot Netters Put Scare in Scots
A share of first place was on the line when the Pinecrest volleyball team traveled to undefeated Scotland County Tuesday evening.
Each of the games went down to the wire, but the Patriots were swept 25-23, 25-22 and 25-23. The Scots improved to 9-0 in the Mid-Southeastern Conference and 15-0 overall with their second victory over their closest contenders. Coach Barbara Foxx's squad dropped to 7-2 and 11-4.
"I thought we were better than Scotland this time," Foxx said afterward. "But in the pressure situations, we made errors. We didn't take advantage of the opportunities we had. We let them slide right out the door."
With the Scots looking listless, the Patriots jumped out to a 10-2 first-game lead. They maintained an advantage until the home team caught up at 17-17. Three kills in a row by Whitney Campbell put the Scots in front 22-18. With Addy George serving, the Pats tied it at 23-23 before the Scots capitalized on mistakes to win the final two points.
"We came out flat, like Pinecrest was going to roll over for us because we're undefeated," said Scot coach David Barnes. "They're coming in here to beat our rear end. But, we did a great job of coming back.
"In the second game, we're up big and the next thing you know here's Pinecrest storming back."
With the Scots leading 16-7, and Emily Despain serving for the Pats in game two, Kaitlyn Craven got a run started with a win at the net. Despain served for five points in a row and Kelly Lovely added a pair of aces moments later, cutting the deficit to 18-17. The game was tied at 20-20 when two more kills by Campbell put the Scots in front for good.
The third game was more of the same with the Patriots leading most of the way. With Tatiana Suvorova recording eight of her 15 kills, they led for the final time at 23-22 before the home team scored three points in a row to end the match.
Before a large crowd, the contest provided some of the best rallies seen this season.
"I'll tell you what," Barnes said, "if you didn't like this game, you ought not go to see any more volleyball. This was what you pay to see right here. It was a great, great match."
Despain with 10 points and Lovely with nine led the Patriot servers. Campbell also finished with 15 kills for the Scots.
Pinecrest was scheduled to play a non-conference match at Middle Creek on (tonight) Wednesday before entertaining Richmond Senior on Thursday.
"We've got to win the rest of our conference games and come in second," Foxx said. "We're capable of doing it."
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