Playing for the first time in nearly two weeks, Triton’s varsity volleyball team fell in straight sets to visiting All American 3-A/4-A Conference foe Pine Forest on Tuesday. Individual set scores were 25-21, 26-24 and 25-19.
The match was Triton’s first since Sept. 2, due to having both matches postponed last week because of Westover and Western Harnett’s teams quarantining for COVID-19.
Triton coach Wendy Simmons cited the 43 errors committed by the Hawks (2-7, 1-2 AAC), including 11 at the service line, as the major factor in the loss.
“Too many errors,” Simmons said. “This game is not about seeing how many errors you can make in a match. It’s supposed to be about how many points you can score. I’m very disappointed in that. Very. They’re getting there, I guess. It’s just frustrating. We had a good week of practice and then just don’t bring it out there to the court. So, we’ll have to figure it out and keep working.”
Senior Reagan Bradham had a double-double with 18 assists and 12 digs, junior Ava Blackman had 11 digs, sophomore Olivia Godwin had seven kills and senior Korra Altman had five kills to lead the Hawks (2-7, 1-2 AAC).
Chyna Massey had three kills, five digs and one ace on four service points. Grace Wilson had two kills, three digs and three aces on five service points. Bradham had two kills and one ace on two service points. Emma Stanley had one kill, five digs and one ace on three service points. Mary Charlotte Pope had one kill and two digs. Carleigh Hemby had one kill. Makayla Norris had one assist and four digs and held serve for five points. Blackman had one assist and held serve for one point. Stephanie Davis had four digs. Godwin had three digs and one ace on two service points. Altman had one ace on three service points.
Senior Chayse Daniels had six kills, eight assists and three aces on 16 service points and junior S’kya Muwwakkil had five kills and three blocks to lead the Trojans (4-6, 2-2).
Triton held an 18-12 lead in the first set before Pine Forest scored seven unanswered points as part of a 13-3 run to take the set.
In the second set, Triton held set point, at 24-21, when Pine Forest scored five unanswered points to win the set.
Triton was without Norris, the senior libero, early in the second set as she was being worked on in the trainer’s room. Simmons noted the difference in the team’s communication and energy levels when she was able to return.
“That’s why she’s got that (libero) jersey on,” Simmons said. “But you’ve got to have somebody else ready to step up and do what they’re supposed to do when something like that happens. But she’s kind of the glue that’s keeping us all together right now.”
Pine Forest opened the third set on an 8-2 run and held the lead the rest of the way.
After playing no matches last week, Tuesday’s match was the first of three in three days for Triton. The Hawks travel to non-conference Cape Fear on Wednesday before returning to conference play at Harnett County rival Overhills on Thursday. Pine Forest is in conference play at Harnett Central on Thursday.
“We’re used to playing three,” Simmons said. “We used to play three all the time. We’ll see if we can put it together better tomorrow.”