Southern completes season sweep of Northern
Southern Vance head coach April Abbott got the cohesiveness and communication she’s been pushing for all season.
The Raiders topped Northern Vance in three sets (25-9, 25-16, 28-26) Monday at Southern. The Raiders also won the previous match against Northern in three games.
“They all really worked together and that’s what I’ve been trying to get them to do,” said Abbott. “Yeah, everybody has different ability levels, but when we put it all together, our team can be unstoppable. I think they’re figuring it out.”
Northern (3-3) was competitive in the final set, rallying from an early eight-point deficit. The Vikings outscored the Raiders 15-4 to take a 22-19 lead, led by the service of Emily Hilliard and Megan Andrews, who combined for 11 service points in that stretch.
Southern (3-3) responded with five straight points before Northern head coach Christa Mosly called for time.
“We weren’t getting any touches on the ball and that was the problem,” said Mosly. “We had to stop the ball.”
The Vikings tied it at 24, but never regained the lead.
“Definitely better,” Mosly said of the final set. “I feel like their fire was coming. My team always starts out slow and comes back. We need to learn how to start up on top and finish on top instead of waiting.”
Southern didn’t get much resistance from Northern in the first two games.
Abbott called timeouts twice in the third set, once with the Raiders ahead 15-14 and again with her team down 20-19 following an ace from Hilliard.
“They were getting a little shaky,” said Abbott. “Sent them back out there and the same thing was happening. Emily was killing us with the serve. When I brought them back from the next timeout, I told them that I was proud of them for how far they had come teamwork wise. They grew up a lot on the floor.”
Leading players for Southern were Brittany West (11 digs, 10 kills, eight aces), Deja Hicks (12 digs, 11 kills, 10 digs, five kills, five aces), Bree Simmons (30 assists), Allyson Dunn (12 digs), and Megan Hight (nine digs, six kills, three aces).
The Raiders had 20 blocks as a team.
Mosly was impressed with the blocking efforts of freshman Brianna Waller, who came off the bench to spark the visitors.
“I don’t care if you’re not ready to hit yet, you need to block,” Mosly told Waller.
“And she blocked every time,” said the Vikings’ coach. “That’s all I can really ask for.”
Southern is scheduled to host Warren County today while Northern entertains Southern Durham.
Contact the writer at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter.