Net Gain

Published 9:31 am Thursday, September 15, 2016

AHOSKIE – For Hertford County’s volleyball team, hard work in practice is reaping reward on game day.

The Lady Bears evened their overall record to 4-4 and are “even” in Northeastern Coastal Conference action at 2-2 thanks to a three-set sweep of rival Bertie High School here Tuesday afternoon in the HCHS gym.

“We’ve been working hard all season to get to the level where we are competitive every time we play,” said Lady Bears volleyball coach Jane Futrell. “For us, our goal – what we call the next level – is to finish at the top in the conference and make the state play-offs. We are focused on reaching those goals.”

That was evident right from the start on Tuesday as the Lady Bears, led by the serving of Emily Merritt and Qulisha Vaughan, stormed to a 25-11 win in the opening set in the best three-of-five match.

Bertie hung tough in set number two where a pair of service winners by Brie Cowand knotted the score at 9-9.

However, the Lady Bears flexed their muscle at the net thanks to kills from D.L. Watford and Joya Blackwell to run off eight unanswered points and a 17-9 lead.

The Lady Falcons drew as close as 17-13 following an offensive spurt capped by a net kill from Autum Morings, but the Lady Bears answered with a 7-0 spurt. Another kill from Blackwell ended the second set, one claimed by HCHS (25-14).

Set number three started out close at 6-6. HCHS got themselves a bit of breathing room at 10-8 followed by a decisive 7-0 run which ended on a kill by Jania Britt. The Lady Bears eventually won that set, 25-16, to complete the three-set sweep.

With the loss, Bertie fell to 1-8 overall and 1-4 in league play. The Lady Falcons will look to bounce back next week when they travel to Elizabeth City to play Northeastern High on Sept. 20.

HCHS hits the road today (Thursday) with a league outing at Pasquotank High. They will host conference foe Currituck on Sept. 20.