Midway’s varsity volleyball team rallied from a tough five-set loss to visiting non-conference rival Triton with a pair of East Central 2-A Conference wins, handing Sampson County rival Clinton its first loss of the season in five sets on Tuesday and cruising to a 3-0 win over visiting James Kenan on Thursday.
“Triton game, our serves really hurt us and we had several ball-handling errors,” said Midway coach Brandy Wrench. “After the game, we kind of talked about how we were not taking that with us to Clinton. And we had the desire to win against Clinton. We just couldn’t let them continue to be undefeated. Our whole thought process changed real fast to, ‘What are we going to do now to make up for this loss and put on a win against Clinton?’ And coming into this game, we had our practice yesterday to kind of settle ourselves down after the big win that we were really hyped up over.”
On Tuesday, Midway beat Clinton by scores of 25-17, 21-25, 17-25, 29-27 and 15-9.
Senior Caitlyn Holland had 21 kills, 15 assists, three blocks and three service aces and senior Makayla Chavis had 10 kills and one block to lead the Raiders (10-4, 5-1 ECC).
Allison Belflowers had eight kills and four blocks. Makenzi Hudson had six kills and seven blocks. Jordan Wallum had four kills, two blocks and one ace. Chloe Baggett had one kill, one assist and two blocks. Sydney Williams had 18 assists. Maranda Byrd and Natalie McPhail had one ace apiece.
“I feel like our front line was really strong against Clinton,” Chavis said. “We were quick to shut them down with our hits and they got really down on themselves, which hyped us up even more.”
“And our blocks,” Wrench added. “We had some big blocks on that front line. We knew that they had two big middles that we had to play against. So, strategic-wise and defense-wise, you had to set up for what those two were going to do. I think our girls did a really good job at that. The whole team. It was a whole team effort. They did really well playing together.”
Midway won the first set but fell behind 2-1 when the Dark Horses (12-1, 6-1) won the second and third sets. After rallying and taking the fourth set in extra points, Midway won the decisive fifth set to take the match.
In Thursday’s match, the Midway beat James Kenan by scores of 25-10, 25-14 and 25-12.
Holland and Chavis had five kills apiece to lead Midway. Holland also had three assists, one block and two aces.
Wallum had three kills, one block and one ace. Byrd had three kills and two aces. Baggett had two kills and four assists. Hudson had one kill and one block. Belflowers had one kill. Emma Clark had one kill and two aces. Williams had six assists. McPhail had three aces.
The Raiders had little trouble with the Tigers (2-11, 1-6), sweeping all three sets.
Midway is at home against non-conference East Bladen (3-9) on Monday before a pair of tough conference tests, traveling to Goldsboro (9-5, 3-2) on Tuesday and hosting East Duplin (12-2, 6-1) on Thursday.
“I feel like if we play as a team and play together and trust each other that we have each other’s back on the court, then we will probably be good for the games this week coming up,” Chavis said. “We’re really good on the court together, but it’s in our heads. As long as we’re good in our heads, mentally, playing, then we’ll have the physical aspect when we get on the court.”