LUMBERTON — Momentum is a force in every sport, but it plays a big role in volleyball.
Behind a second-set comeback, the Lumberton volleyball team rode the positive wave for a big start to the third set that was enough to put away visiting Fairmont with a straight-set victory Monday. The Lady Pirates posted wins with scores of 25-16, 25-22 and 25-13 to pick up the non-conference loss.
“Volleyball is a game of momentum, but the seniors really stepped up and stepped up in a big way,” Lumberton coach Tre’ Britt said. “They carried us through that second set to come from behind and win. Then it rolled right over into the third set.”
Lumberton (7-3) used its experience against the Lady Golden Tornadoes to rebound from a 14-9 deficit in the second set, and take the lead 18-17. Seniors like Katie Kinlaw, Alexandria Simpson, Rachel O’Neil and Madison Canady, who Britt said have played a big part in the program for the last three and four years, were driving forces in the match.
“It’s a really good group of seniors,” he said. “It’s showing that their hard work is paying off and they are buying into the system.”
The shift in the tides of the game in the second set carried over to the third set as the Lady Pirates won 18 of the first 26 points to go up 18-8 and close out the match.
Fairmont (4-4) and its inexperienced roster were on the wrong side of the momentum shift in the second set, and were unable to get traction.
“That’s how it has been all year,” Fairmont coach Michael Baker said. “We led Whiteville the first two games, and with South Columbus we led in three games. We just have to find us a leader that will pull us through.”
“We have a hard time of putting plays behind us. We linger on the play that happened last. You can’t linger on what happened last play.”
In that second set, the Lady Golden Tornadoes turned a 7-all tie to a 12-9 advantage before Lumberton started its fight back.
For Baker, his team’s ability to respond at the net was part of the reason for the defeat.
“We hit better than what we showed today,” Baker said. “You’ve got to hit people back, because if you keep getting hit, your morale is going to go down. They steady hit us, but we didn’t hit back. We got the ball to our setters, but our hitters didn’t do a good job of hitting it.”
Fairmont as a team had 14 kills, with 10 coming from Mya Hunt. Mackenzie Johnson distributed assists on all of the kills.
Lumberton on the other hand had four players with more than six kills, led by Canady and Kinlaw with eight each. Simpson had seven kills and O’Neil had six kills. Erin Maynor had 16 digs for the Lady Pirates.
In jayvee action, Fairmont won in three sets, while Purnell Swett defeated Lumberton in freshmen volleyball action.
Lumberton tennis tops Hoke
LUMBERTON — The Lumberton girls tennis team earned a 6-3 win over Hoke at home on Monday.
Morgan Miller, Ellen Kinlaw and Brittany Collins each earned wins in singles and doubles play. Miller won 8-1 over her singles opponent and then 8-6 in doubles after teaming up with Anna Russ. Kinlaw won 8-1 in singles and Collins won 8-4 in her match, then they teamed up for an 8-4 doubles win.
Makleigh Wynn won 8-0 in her singles match.
Bulldogs rout East Columbus
ST. PAULS — The St. Pauls boys soccer team built an early lead and used it to claim a 7-0 win over East Columbus at home on Monday.
Alexis Mendez scored four goals for St. Pauls, while Bruno Ayala, Sam Flores and Allan Diaz each added a goal.
In other county soccer action, Pinecrest won 3-0 on the road at Lumberton.
Jonathan Bym can be reached at 910-816-1977 or by email at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @Jonathan_Bym.