Triton’s varsity volleyball team was competitive through three sets, but struggled in the fourth in a 3-1 loss to visiting West Johnston on Tuesday. The individual set scores were 25-21, 25-21, 24-26 and 25-6.
“In spurts I felt like we competed,” said Triton coach Wendy Simmons. “I don’t know what happened in that fourth set, especially after you just beat them. I don’t know. It’s frustrating. We didn’t pass the ball well. We didn’t serve well. But when we did things well, we did good.”
Simmons was pleased with the play of her setters, Breigh Hobbs and Tyler Grace Gamblin, who both recorded double-doubles. Hobbs had four kills, 15 assists, 11 digs and one ace on four service points and Gamblin had three kills, 12 assists, 11 digs and one ace on three service points.
“I felt like our setters did a good job,” Simmons said. “They were where they were supposed to be. But we just couldn’t connect all the time.”
Evie Pollard and Bethany Norris led the Hawks (4-5) at the net with nine kills apiece. Pollard also had one block and eight digs and Norris also had four digs and two aces on six service points.
“I don’t think we got the ball to Bethany quite as much as we needed to,” Simmons said. “But hopefully that’s something we’ll work on.”
Triton struggled early at the service line, but was given a boost off of the bench from Chelby Pascale, with two aces on five service points. She also had one dig.
“I have an expectation now that if they miss two serves in a match, they’re done,” Simmons said. “We miss way too many and I’ve got other people that can serve. So far, I’ve been pleased with the people that I’ve chosen to go in there and serve for the ones that have missed two. So, hopefully we’ll either get better at our serving our I’ll just keep using somebody else to serve.”
Gracyn Slaughter had two kills, 10 digs and one ace on three service points. Breonna McNeill had one kill, one block, one dig and one ace on four service points. Leah Brannon had one kill, 15 digs and one ace on five service points. Maddie Stephens had one dig and held serve for three points. Sydney Morrison and Grace Wilson had one dig apiece.
The Wildcats (6-2) were led by senior team captains Megan Bost and Madison Green. Bost had 17 kills, one block and three aces on nine service points and Green had 34 assists, four blocks and one ace on 10 service points.
The first two sets were close, but saw West use a late surge to take 25-21 wins in each set.
Triton held a 24-21 lead in the third set when West rallied to tie it and take the set into extra points. But an error and a Pollard kill, assisted by Gamblin, gave Triton the set.
West dominated the fourth set to close out the match.
Triton swept the junior varsity contest, winning by scores of 25-19 and 25-11.
Triton travels to rival South Johnston (7-1) on Thursday. Triton was originally scheduled to host South last Thursday, but the game was postponed because of Harnett and Johnston County Schools being out of school in anticipation of Hurricane Dorian. Simmons said a make-up date has not yet been set.
“We’ve got to have more enthusiasm,” Simmons said. “The enthusiasm like this team (West Johnston) has, we should be able to have. I felt like we were lacking that tonight. South’s going to be a tough one for us, so we’re just going to have to work on some things tomorrow and hopefully, we can come out and make a good showing Thursday.”