LAURINBURG — The Jack Britt volleyball team came into their game at Scotland with a win against a Southeastern Conference opponent already under their belts.
The Buccaneers defeated Pinecrest, last season’s SEC champion, 3-1 a week ago, and followed with another convincing victory Tuesday against the Scots.
Jack Britt swept Scotland 25-15, 25-13, 25-18 to improve to 6-3 on the season while the loss dropped the host to 4-3.
“Jack Britt is a traditionally good school, we knew that going into it,” said Scotland coach Molly Hayes said. “I feel like us as a team, we didn’t come ready to play and Jack Britt came ready to play. We came in a little bit timid, a little bid scared, and our scores reflected our attitude.”
The Bucs relied on stellar play from their outside hitters to earn the victory. Taylor Conklin, Brittany Wood, Ambria McBride and Brianna Wood, who all stand at least 5-foot-10, dominated the game from the onset with momentum-shifting kills and the occasional solo block.
Early errors sank the Scots, who trailed 12-4 in the opening game before Hayes burned her first timeout of the contest. Kenleigh Callahan helped Scotland get back into the set by winning four straight service points, but the Bucs pulled away once more thanks to a couple of blocks by Brittany Wood and impressive kills from Brianna Wood, who drew “ohhs” from the crowd with her powerful hitting.
“(Brianna Wood) is strong, she’s also left-handed and that kind of throws you off a little bit when you’re not used to having a left-handed outside,” Hayes said. “We tried to adjust some things defensively but they have other hitters to support her if she got blocked.”
Brianna carried that momentum into the second game, helping the Bucs jump out to a 13-3 lead that they would not relinquish.
In the third set, Scotland finally found a rhythm and grabbed a 13-7 advantage that prompted Jack Britt coach Ashley Telford to call her only timeout of the game. The Bucs responded, eventually storming back to tie the game at 14-all before going on an 11-4 run to clinch the match. Brianna Wood fittingly ended it with another kill to punctuate her impressive evening.
Callahan paced Scotland with 10 serving points and three aces to go along with eight digs. Kaitlin Lewis recorded 11 digs, Mason Roberts added 12 digs and Emma Gray Beacham tacked on six digs and seven assists.
Nahir Pegues had three kills and her sister Amaya Pegues added two kills.
Scotland opens SEC play Thursday at Purnell Swett, and Hayes said she still has confidence in her team as they enter the most important part of their schedule.
“If we go out and we play every game with everything we have and we play as a team, I think we’ll be a contender for first place, without a doubt,” she said. “That’s our goal every year is to win the conference.”
Scotland soccer wins 3rd straight
CERRO GORDO — The Scotland boys’ soccer team rolled to their third straight win of the season Tuesday, defeating West Columbus 4-0 on the road.
The win improved the Scots to 4-3 overall while the loss dropped the Vikings to 1-4-1.
Nyjel Collins-Jackson scored one goal and had two assists in the victory. McKenzie White and Negie Babor scored off of Collins-Jackson assists, and Shane Dubbs notched Scotland’s final goal of the contest in the 78th minute.
Goalkeeper Khalil McNair saved a penalty kick in the first half and recorded his first shutout of the season.
The Scots return to action Thursday at Cape Fear.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.