Harnett Central had to fight hard to get it done, but was more efficient than Garner this time.
Jason Harrell’s club prevailed 25-19, 16-25, 25-20 and 25-21, winning the teams’ Greater Neuse River 4A matchup on the road on Tuesday.
Central improved to 4-7 overall and 2-1 in GNRC play, while Garner fell to 3-7 and 1-1.
Garner had won an earlier non-conference meeting between the teams, taking all three sets by a total of seven points in the Trojan Invitational at South Johnston.
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“It’s tough having a conference game the day after Labor Day, but Harnett Central didn’t practice yesterday either.,” Garner coach Jason Boyette said. “We just made a lot of young mental mistakes today. We have the skill, but we haven’t quite put it all together yet.”
And this time Central was just more precise. The visitors took the lead for good in a set at 13-12 in the first, 10-9 in the third and 15-14 in the fourth to take the hosts out of contention each time.
The conference rematch is on Oct. 1 in Angier.
Twelve times in the third set, Central scored the next point after Garner earned the serve.
They said it
“I thought we stepped up at the end with some of out big hitters like Braxton Wright and Camryn Huber,” Central coach Jason Harrell said. “Both of them stepped up and made plays when we need to. And we really stepped up our defense in the third set.”
Three who mattered
Braxton Wright, Central: The junior finished with eight kills.
“I just try to jump for the sky, aim for the court and hit it as hard as I can,” said Wright, who is only 5-4 but led her team in kills including the one that finished off the match. “This is big, because we’re fighting with Garner for a spot at the top of the conference.”
Lea Stewart, Central: The junior had eight kills.
Shaylynn Hall, Garner: The sophomore middle hitter had nine kills and three blocks.
By the numbers
6: Kills by Garner middle hitter Abigail Porter.
7: Kills for Central’s Lea Stewart.
8: Kills by Central’s Braxton Wright.
9: Kills from Shaylynn Hall.
Garner’s next two conference matches are on the road.
“Harnett Central was just better at hitting the ball where we weren’t,” Garner senior Alisha Josey said. “I think this is just a bump in the road. But we have to hit better.”
After hosting West Johnston on Thursday, Harnett Central entertains South Johnston of the Two Rivers 3A on Monday.