LUMBERTON — On the court, Jessi Kee is front and center.
Tuesday night at Lumberton, the Scotland senior played like the spotlight was on.
During close matches, Kee was looking for the block or finding key kills to sweep Lumberton 25-14, 25-15, 25-9 in just under an hour.
“She was fired up tonight, she was ready to go,” said Scotland assistant coach Jessica Milligan. “She had a few people in the stands giving her a hard time, but she was ready to go.”
She was ready to go and kept it going all game, finishing the sweep with 10 kills as part of a match that the Scots took care of easily. All three sets were won by at least 10 points and Lumberton only took the lead once in the match.
“They’re a good team, there ain’t no doubt,” said Lumberton coach Jeff McLamb. “I told the girls beforehand that to win we’d have to do all the small things and we didn’t.”
The Pirates, playing without team captain Joy Church, struggled to contain the heavy-handed offense from Scotland.
With each dig, the Scots got the ball to setter Avery Callahan, who had 18 assists to locations around the court. Each pass she put up had multiple options, and when Lumberton looked to defend a specific hitter, she’d instead pass the ball over the net for the point.
Though all three matches started close, Scotland had early runs that left Lumberton playing catch-up.
The first set started with consecutive aces by the Scots, which Lumberton tied. A kill by Madeline Milholland made it 3-2, which Lumberton tied again. Scotland then scored 12 of the next 13 points to go up 14-4.
A Lumberton rally that included multiple aces from Jenna Smith got the lead down to 15-10, but that was as close as it got. Scotland closed the set with seven of the final nine points.
Lumberton rallied early in the second set to go up 7-3. A kill by Kayla Kerns made it 8-5, but after that Scotland scored 10 straight points, including a stretch of Kee’s kills, to go up 15-8. Lumberton narrowed it to 15-11, but Scotland eventually pulled away again, ending the set on kill by Milholland.
Scotland took care of the third set, scoring 21 of the first 25 points. Lumberton didn’t score consecutive points until they trailed 21-4, when they put together fours points to make it 21-8. Scotland scored four of the final five points.
The Scots, who haven’t lost a conference match in seven years, improved to 11-1 and 3-0 in the Southeastern Conference.