It wasn’t pretty, but the Scotland High School varsity volleyball team conquered Pine Forest in out-of-conference play Wednesday night to record their second victory in as many days.
Scotland (2-0, 0-0) struggled away from home in their first road test of the season, battling back from multi-point deficits in their final two sets, but in the end, the Scots battled back to keep their record unblemished early in the 2011 season with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-19 win over the Trojans.
Scotland head coach David Barnes said that for the second night in a row, his team’s ball control left much to be desired.
“Pine Forest is a very athletic team,” Barnes said. “They have very good athletes. I think that our system is suited to go against them because of our reliance on strategy to get wins. Our ball control right now is such as issue for us. We’re just not getting enough passes to our targets to run an efficient offense and take what the other team is giving us. Until we can get a better hold on our ball control and work our system more and get into a position where we can use our strategy, we’re going to continue to struggle. We never hit stride tonight and we didn’t make touches on the ball. We’re still looking confused. Individually, some are giving great efforts, but as far as a team and looking fluid, we’re not at that point yet.”
Scotland maintained early control in the first set, jumping out to a 9-3 lead in the first set behind a pair of Pine Forest serving errors and an ace from Greta Griswold. The Trojans cut the Scots’ lead to just two at 11-9, but a pair of kills from Hailey Morgan and Teborah Hollingsworth grew the Scots’ advantage to 14-9.
Three consecutive Pine Forest aces during the middle of the set put the Trojans’ within four of Scotland’s lead, but a Hollingsworth kill put the Scots within one of the set at 24-20. On the set’s final point, Scotland’s Jonissa Monley forced a tough Pine Forest return over the net. The Trojans were unable to handle Monley’s return, giving Scotland a 25-20 victory.
In the second set, Pine Forest looked poised for an early upset, dismantling the Scots’ defense for a 17-14 lead midway through the set. Scotland tied the game at 17-17 with three serving points from Morgan, using an ace from the senior to battle back from the three-point deficit.
Scotland outscored the Trojans 8-3 over the final 11 points, closing the game with four serving points. A Jessica Bowen block at net sealed the win for the Scots, as they posted another 25-20 win to take a 2-0 overall lead.
Scotland again struggled early in the third set, falling behind 17-16 in the game-deciding match. Back-to-back Bowen kills allowed the Scots to take a 19-17 advantage and a block from the Scots’ Caroline Pridgen grew the visitor’s lead to 21-18.
Pridgen closed the set with a game-clinching kill to the middle of the floor, securing Scotland’s second straight-set win of the season.
Bowen led the Scots with 11 service points, with Morgan adding six to the Scots’ total.
Pridgen led the Scots with six kills, while Morgan posted 14 assists in the Scotland victory.
Hollingsworth tallied four block-assists on the night, with Shea Poage finishing with three for Scotland.
Hollingsworth also posted a game-high 10 digs in the win.
Scotland will return to action on Monday, Aug. 22, at home against Triton.
Game time is set for 6 p.m.