WARRENTON — Nakira Bullock was the only member of the Warren County volleyball team to be honored as part of the program’s senior night festivities on Tuesday afternoon.
Bullock played a key role in keeping her teammates composed through an inconsistent game against Southeast Halifax by executing several great plays to pull off a 3-0 victory, which improved Warren County’s record to 15-1 on the year.
Head coach April Macon said that Bullock’s playmaking ability has been crucial towards elevating the entire team and putting Warren County in a position to potentially make a deep playoff run.
“It was not the prettiest win but it was still a win,” Macon said. “[Nakira] is such a big part of this team. She’s our best hitter, she hustles and she keeps the team in line.”
The emergence of Bullock as one of the top players in the Tar Roanoke 1A Conference has come as a pleasant surprise for Macon in her first year leading Warren County volleyball.
Although she is not a member of any travel ball organization, Macon said that Bullock excels at moving around the court and hitting the ball while also fulfilling her role as a leader, whether that involves guiding by example or commanding attention during practice and in games.
With Warren County having not won any games since 2018 prior to the start of the current year, Bullock was determined to buy into Macon’s coaching and make the necessary changes that could help build a competitive volleyball program at the school.
Bullock is proud of everything that she and her teammates have accomplished throughout the 2021 campaign but she knows that many more improvements can still be made before the regular season comes to a close.
“Hitting and passing has gotten a lot better for me,” Bullock said. “I can actually come up to hit the ball and I can block as well. We still need to work on communication because we still have games in which we’re very quiet. When we’re talking, you can see the difference in the way we play.”
Like Bullock, Macon is tempering expectations on a possible state championship run in 2021.
While Warren County has battled tough in-conference competition like North Edgecombe and Weldon, Macon said that her team is not going to be fully prepared for the pressure of a state championship environment unless they devote themselves to volleyball during the offseason.
“This is an inexperienced team,” Macon said. “With most of the teams that win state championships, a lot of their girls play travel ball. I’d love for some of our girls to start playing during the winter and spring but I think we’ll do pretty well this season.”
Macon is confident that Warren County can finish out their remaining regular season games strong and enter the postseason with momentum as long as they focus on fixing certain fundamentals like being more aggressive around the net.
Following a rematch against J.F. Webb on Wednesday, which handed them their only loss this year back on Sept. 13, Warren County will battle Wilson Prep next Thursday before wrapping up the regular season with a road game against Rocky Mount Prep on Oct. 19.