After a close, emotionally draining victory Monday against Bunn, Northern Nash saw no carryover in the first set Tuesday against Nash Central.
The Bulldogs played controlled, defensive volleyball, letting the Knights trap themselves with mistakes, which Northern Nash seemed content to make.
Northern Nash coach Patricia Haggerty brought her team together and told them a conference game was not the time for a letdown.
Her girls listened.
The Knights recovered to win the next three sets for a 3-1 victory at Nash Central High School.
“They claimed after about the third set that they didn’t have enough warm-up time,” Haggerty said. “I told them that’s no excuse.
“We were so pumped, and played at such a high level (Monday) against Bunn, I felt like they left some of themselves on the court (Monday).”
Once the Knights (2-1 Big East Conference) cut down their mistakes, particularly with serving, they took control of the match.
Four of the Knights’ first six servers missed entirely.
“I was shocked at how bad our serves were in the beginning because we were so good in warm-ups,” Northern Nash middle hitter Deja Lewis said. “We finally got it together after the first set, then we were fine.”
Northern Nash’s serving became a strength midway through the second set. Up, 12-10, the Knights were able dictate play – and therefore hold possession – because their servers allowed it.
The Knights went on runs of 5-0 and 4-0 in the latter part of the set before winning, 25-16.
“I’m always telling them, because I have a lot of basketball players, a serve is like a free throw in basketball,” Haggerty said. “Nobody’s guarding you. Nobody’s bother you. All you’ve gotta do is hit it over the net.”
Nash Central (0-3 Big East) never punched back after the swing in momentum.
Northern Nash never was in jeopardy the final two sets, winning them by margins of 12 and nine points, respectively.
“After the second game, we just never bounced back,” Nash Central coach Frank Poyer said. “The girls just didn’t do what we needed them to do. We’d have good hits, but then couldn’t maintain our good plays.”
With the Bulldogs reeling, the Knights didn’t miss their mark.
“When we relaxed and got the second set, we knew we could put this game away,” Lewis said. “That pumped us up a little bit. We know we were better than that, and we had to show it.”
Nick Piotrowicz can be reached at 407-9952 or npiotrowicz@ rmtelegram.com