Pat Netters Fall In SEC Final
The Pinecrest volleyball team was defeated 25-22, 23-25, 27-25 and 25-22 by Scotland County Wednesday evening in a gripping Southeastern Conference tournament championship match.
Addy George led a gallant effort by the Patriots with 18 kills and 12 digs. Caroline Pridgen was a difference-maker for the Scots, recording 28 kills with only one attack error.
The loss was the third of the season for the visiting Patriots (22-6, overall, 9-3 conference) against the conference regular season champion Scots (22-2-2, 12-0). Coach Barbara Foxx’s squad is scheduled to entertain Wilmington Ashley, the third seed from the Mideastern Conference, on Saturday at 3 p.m. in the first round of the 4A state playoffs.
Each of the sets was up for grabs until the end with a Pridgen kill finishing each of the Scot wins.
Down by a game, a strong effort by middle blocker Felicia Painter helped the Patriots take a 20-14 lead in the second set. Almost automatic from her left outside hitter spot, Pridgen sparked a Scot rally before a tip by Janea Williams gave the Pats a 25-23 win.
The visitors had a golden opportunity to put themselves in the driver’s seat, leading 22-19 after a kill by Uniqwa Morrison late in the third set. Some spectacular hits and digging by both sides in the evening’s longest rally concluded with a winner by the Scots’ Jonissa Monley. Pridgen had four of her kills as the home team survived 27-25.
The Patriots took a promising 5-0 lead in the fourth set on a kill by George off an assist by Keegan Lynch with Megan Thomas serving. Still in front 14-11, the short serving tactic that troubled the Pats throughout the match was used by the Scots to draw even on three aces in a row by Jessica Bowen.
The Patriots made things tougher for themselves by committing three late service errors before a final swing of the arm by Pridgen ended the match.
Morrison, Williams and Painter were credited with 10, nine and seven kills respectively. Thomas had 22 assists and Ashleigh McKenzie had eight. Molly Maples led the Patriot servers with 13 points.
The Patriots reached the championship match by defeating Purnell Swett 23-25, 25-16, 25-14 and 25-15 at home on Tuesday. George had 25 kills and seven digs and Williams had 13 kills and four blocks. Lynch with 17 and Thomas with 15 were the assist leaders.
Contact Charlie Berg-mann at firstname.lastname@example.org. com.
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