FAIRMONT — Michael Baker will be the first to tell you that it’s not about him.
When asked about the success of the Fairmont High School volleyball team on Tuesday, the veteran coach smiled and gave all the credit to the girls who have helped him build one of the best programs in the region.
“The girls work hard. They come out in the spring and summer, going to several camps. They play. I just open the gym,” said Baker, whose team had just won in straight sets over Red Springs.
“When I open the gym, they come out. That’s what I’m pleased with. It’s good to have our program in a spot to where the girls enjoy playing. That’s how you know you have a good program.”
And each year, the Lady Golden Tornadoes prove they’re the best that Robeson County has to offer when it comes to volleyball. Dating back to 2010, Fairmont boasts a 44-4 record against the other five schools in the county, with three losses to 4-A Purnell Swett and one coming at the hands of 4-A Lumberton.
The Lady Golden Tornadoes (6-3, 5-2 TRC) have won their last 13 matches against the Lady Red Devils (4-5, 3-4). On Tuesday, Fairmont won 25-22, 25-13 and 25-14 to claim its latest match.
MacKenzie Johnson led the way for Fairmont with 15 assists and 10 service points. Kiara Page added 13 digs and nine kills for the Lady Golden Tornadoes, with Mya Hunt contributing 10 kills and two blocks.
Kaylee McMillian logged 10 service points and four aces, with Krishay Moore tallying nine service points, seven assists and three aces.
Currently third in the Three Rivers Conference standings behind unbeatens Whiteville and South Columbus, Fairmont still has work to do in its quest for another league title.
“It’s a long season. It’s still a long ways to go,” Baker said. “We have South Columbus and Whiteville, losing tough ones against them. We just didn’t have that extra (stuff) to get us over the hump.”
But with a team full of upperclassmen, Baker is confident that his team will continue to put in the work that helped the program earn its reputation.
“I’ve been pleased with the effort of the whole team,” he said. “They keep working hard.”
In other volleyball action, Lumberton earned its second Sandhills Athletic Conference win in a three-set victory over Scotland. London Thompson had 10 kills, Katie Kinlaw added eight kills, Erin Maynor added 16 digs and Rachel O’Neil added four aces for the Lady Pirates. Purnell Swett lost in straight sets against Hoke County, 25-17, 25-18 and 26-24.
The Purnell Swett girls tennis team dropped an 8-1 match at Richmond on Tuesday. Harlie Scott and Tierra Locklear won 8-2 in No. 3 doubles to claim the Lady Rams’ only win.
Rodd Baxley can be reached at 910-416-5182. Follow him on Twitter @RoddBaxley.