Despite some struggles in the third set, Triton’s varsity volleyball celebrated its Senior Night on Tuesday with a 3-1 win over visiting All American 3-A/4-A Conference and Harnett County rival Overhills. Individual set scores were 25-9, 25-8, 20-25 and 25-7.
“If anybody could explain what happened in that (third) set, that would be great,” said Triton coach Wendy Simmons. “But, take that one out and they played a complete match. I was very proud of them. Some of the things that we’ve been working on have improved, so hopefully we’ll carry that into Thursday.”
Sophomores Olivia Godwin and Carleigh Hemby had nine kills apiece, freshman Chyna Massey had seven kills and senior Reagan Bradham had 29 assists to lead the Hawks (10-11, 9-4 AAC).
“I thought (Godwin) hit the ball very well tonight,” Simmons said. “Hitting it in different spots, different ways. Sometimes off-speed. Sometimes hard hits. Tips. I was glad to see that.”
Triton had a strong performance at the service line, led by five aces on 22 service points from senior Makayla Norris, six aces on 16 service points from Bradham and five aces on 11 service points from senior Grace Wilson.
“(Norris) served a little differently tonight, with a little top spin on it,” Simmons said. “I think they’ve all been working on their serve, but she came through big at times for us tonight. I think in that first set, she probably could have served a lot more if we had any more points to get.”
Wilson had six kills, one assist and eight digs. Senior Korra Altman had four kills and one dig. Bradham had three kills and eight digs. Norris had two assists and 10 digs. Massey had one assist and four digs and held serve for four points. Godwin had one block and two aces on four service points. Hemby had three digs and two aces on eight service points. Ava Blackman had three digs. A.J. Wood had one digs and one ace on two service points. Emma Stanley had one dig and served one ace.
Senior NyAsia McKinnon had seven kills and freshman Grayson Morris had three kills and seven assists to lead the Jaguars (3-11, 3-10).
Jayleen Barco Cruz had one kill, three blocks and three digs and held serve for five points. Hayden Poole had one kill, five digs and three aces on eight service points. Christa Hull had one kill and four digs. Chloe Purnell had four assists and seven digs and held serve for one point. Haleigh Hare had one assist. Morris had eight digs and served one ace. Ava Harris had seven digs and held serve for one point. Alisa Roman had two digs.
With the first set tied 4-4, Triton finished the set on a 21-5 run, including a 10-point serving run from Norris, including three aces, to end the set.
Morris served an ace to start the second set, but Triton responded with 10 unanswered points to take control of the set and led the rest of the way.
With the third set tied 5-5, Overhills scored five unanswered to take the lead, but Triton responded with a 9-3 run to lead 14-13. With the score tied 19-19, Overhills finished the set on a 6-1 run to keep the match going.
Triton opened the fourth set on a 9-1 run and dominated the rest of the way. Fittingly for Senior Night, it was a senior, Wilson, who ended the match with back-to-back aces.
After the match Triton honored four seniors: Reagan Bradham, Makayla Norris, Grace Wilson and Korra Altman.
Both teams wrap up regular season play on Thursday. Overhills is at home against conference opponent Pine Forest and Triton travels to conference and county rival Harnett Central.
“Looking forward to it,” Simmons said. “We’ll see. A lot of marbles on the table for them (Central is in contention for the conference title). Us too, in a way. We want to keep our third place spot.”