Coming off the first losing season in over a decade, Wendy Simmons knew it was important for her team to come out and make a statement. And that’s what the Lady Hawks volleyball squad did, earning a 3-1 win over visiting Cape Fear by set scores of 25-20, 16-25, 26-24 and 25-19.
“A year ago, we weren’t even where we are right now,” Simmons said. “We’ve still got things to work on. There were some things I felt like we could have done better, because we were doing them better in practice, which I wanted to see us execute and we didn’t as much tonight. But overall I was pleased with the win, and hopefully we’ll correct some of those things that we didn’t do so well tonight.”
It seems Triton’s biggest strength this season is its depth. Eight different players recorded kills, eight recorded digs, and six recorded aces.
Evie Pollard led the way in kills with seven. Breigh Hobbs and Bethany Norris each added six kills. Leah Brannon and Grace Wilson each had two kills. Tyler Grace Gamblin, Chelby Pascale and Gracyn Slaughter had one kill each.
Slaughter had 24 digs, Brannon had 21 digs and Hobbs had 20 digs to lead the Hawks defensively. Gamblin added 17 digs. Pascale had eight digs. Sydney Morrison had seven digs and one ace. Pollard had three digs. Wilson had one dig.
Brannon was Triton’s top server with four aces on nine service points. Hobbs had two aces on nine service points. Slaughter had two aces on six service points. Pascale had one ace on seven service points. Morrison had one ace on three service points.
Gamblin was the Hawks’ leading setter, racking up 24 assists. Hobbs and Brannon each added one assist.
With all of those players making contributions in game one, Simmons said she still has even more who could see playing time this season.
“I have one injury and I have some that missed a week of practice because they were on a trip,” Simmons said. “I think you’ll see more and more of them go in to play different spots. They may just go in to serve, or they may just go in to play outside one time. But all of them have the ability to contribute at some point in time. I have 12 on this team and nine on JV. I’ve got a bench; I’m going to use them when I need to.”
That depth extends all the way to the JV program, which swept Cape Fear 2-0 (25-20, 25-23).
“They were fun to watch play today,” Simmons said of the J.V. team. “For that to be their first match, I enjoyed watching them play. The future looks bright.”
The Hawks turned around and played Middle Creek at home on Wednesday. They’ll follow up that game with trips to Smithfield-Selma on Thursday and Middle Creek on Monday before hosting Midway on Tuesday for a rivalry matchup.