Patriot Netters Run Record to 7-0
One of the new faces contributing to the Pinecrest volleyball team’s impressive 7-0 start is a tough-serving senior who was one of coach Barbara Foxx’s scorekeepers last season.
Keyasa Martin served for 22 points as the Patriots defeated E.E. Smith 25-7, 25-9 and 25-17 at James Moore Gym Monday evening. She contributed to seven- and 12-point runs and did not commit a service error until her final attempt.
Successful on a high percentage of her attacks, junior Felicia Painter led the winners with 12 kills. Megan Thomas was the assist leader with 12, and fellow junior Keegan Lynch, with six, had the most digs. In an abbreviated week of matches, the Patriots were scheduled to visit an Overhills squad on Tuesday that gave them a tough three games last week.
Martin played for the freshmen and junior varsity teams in her first two years at Pinecrest. After losing several key players from last season’s 24-7 team to graduation, and potential returnees Janea Williams (shoulder surgery) and Molly Maples (knee surgery), Martin’s contributions have been a pleasant surprise.
“We knew what she was capable of and wanted her to play last year,” Foxx said. “She worked with us some in the summer so she didn’t lose anything. She’s served and passed the ball very well. She’s contributing, so that’s great.”
The Golden Bulls’ problems with the Patriot serving game became evident almost right from the start. They led 4-2 in the first set before Martin served for seven points in a row to help the home team take command. Thomas served for six in a row and Ashleigh Welton served for the final seven points of the set.
Martin had a streak of 12 service points in the second set that included seven kills by Painter and a pair by Amber Goodwin. A service ace by Painter late in the third set was the Patriots’ 12th of the match. The Golden Bulls of the Mid-South 4A Conference dropped to 2-1 with the loss.
The Patriots lost a lot of talent at the outside hitter position with the graduation of players like Addy George and Ashleigh McKenzie along with the absence of Williams and Maples. Already a big contributor as a passer and server, Foxx feels Martin’s attacking at the net will improve as the season goes on.
“It’s been tough shoes to fill and I’ve been trying to make my own path,” Martin said. “Coach Foxx usually stresses tough serves because the serve is the first try at the point. I try to make good serves so we can run our quick attack and put the ball away, and keep doing it over and over again.”
After Overhills, the Patriots have one more non-league match at Lee County next Wednesday before their Southeastern Conference opener the following evening at Lumberton. Foxx wants to see more of the same from her team.
“We’re just consistent now, which is great, and we’re having fun,” she said. “We’re doing everything we need to do at this point of the season.”
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