To open up Monday afternoon’s practice, Scotland coach David Barnes had his undefeated varsity volleyball squad make 100 serves as a test of their accuracy. For each serving error they made, the 22-0 Fighting Scots would preform a running drill.
The Fighting Scots would successfully put 90 of 100 serves in play, demonstrating one of the strongest traits of a team looking for its first 4-A state championship under Barnes’ tenure as coach. It was also a way for the coaching staff to demonstrate just how good the team can be when they maintain their determination to close out opponents.
“They showed what we can do by keeping our focus out there,” Barnes said. “We can’t piddle around with teams we know we can beat. This team has to play consistently well, and with heart and desire.”
On Saturday afternoon, Scotland welcomed a Southeast Raleigh team that, in terms of size and athleticism, had a slight edge over the Fighting Scots. Nonetheless, Scotland would win in consecutive sets 25-9, 25-18 and 25-22 to move on to the second round of the 4-A state playoffs.
Libby Ingram was the primary attacker for the Fighting Scots on the day, leading her team with 14 kills, and was followed by Maddie Milholland with 10 kills and Caroline Pridgen with nine. Sharing setting duties amongst themselves, Brianna Harris and Avery Callahan would collect 19 and 13 assists, respectively. Callahan also had 13 of 18 passes on target.
Senior Greta Griswold finished the match with a team-high 15 serving points and six digs as well.
After cruising to a definitive first-set win, Scotland allowed the lady Bulldogs to keep things a bit too close for comfort during the remainder of the contest. Several of Southeast Raleigh’s points came from self-inflicted Scotland mistakes, including serving errors and lack of communication at the net.
“I’d like to think it’s a case of us sizing teams up and recognizing we can play just well enough to win,” Barnes said. “We played outstanding volleyball in the first game, but we need to stop having these mental breakdowns late in matches and concentrate on becoming a better team.”
Though they didn’t finish as strong as they started, the Fighting Scots earned the victory and set up a meeting with Terry Sanford on Tuesday evening at home. The game is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. in the new gym.