LAURINBURG — After suffering a disappointing loss in its previous contest against Pinecrest, the Scotland volleyball team hoped for a rebound performance against a Hoke squad that entered Thursday’s game with a losing record.
And despite scoring a 3-1 win on their own floor, head coach Molly Hayes said she was not satisfied with winning “ugly.”
“When it’s an ugly win, it just doesn’t feel right,” Hayes said. “When you walk away from winning frustrated, that’s just not a great feeling. Clearly we still have a lot to work on. I was hoping for a better performance, especially after practice Wednesday and coming off the Pinecrest game.”
Regardless of how the Scots got the 25-21, 26-28, 25-18, 25-17 victory, they improved to 6-5 and 2-1 in the Southeastern Conference while the Bucks dropped to 4-6 and 0-2 in the SEC.
Scotland appeared well on its way to a convincing win, jumping out to a 11-5 lead in the first set before cruising to a 23-14 advantage. But the Bucks rallied back with five straight points thanks to strong serves from Tyesha Tyson and closed the gap to as few as three before the Scots finally won the game.
That momentum shift carried over into the second set, as Hoke stayed with Scotland the entire game. The Scots appeared to grow frustrated on the court as the Bucks matched them point for point — while Scotland players tightened up, Hoke’s were loose and confident, which eventually resulted in the Bucks scoring a thrilling 28-26 win.
The first half of the third set played out much the same way and after Hoke grabbed an early 9-7 lead, Hayes tried to light a fire under her team by calling a timeout and getting in her players’ faces.
“I was tired of being nice about it, so they saw mean coach tonight,” Hayes said. “Whatever it takes is what we’ll end up doing for the girls.”
The tactic paid off, as Scotland eventually regained the lead before pulling away for the 25-18 victory.
In the fourth game, the Scots closed out the match with a 25-17 win.
Nahir Pegues paced Scotland with 11 kills, and Kaitlin Lewis added 10 kills and 17 digs. Emma Gray Beacham contributed seven kills, two aces and 30 assists. Mason Roberts had 19 digs while Kenleigh Callahan tacked on 18 digs.
Scotland is off until Monday when it will host Lumberton.
Logan Martinez can be reached at 910-506-3170. Follow him on Twitter @L_Martinez13.