Apex senior Ally Beckman had returned from injury two games ago. But she wasn’t “back” necessarily. The College of Charleston recruit needed a few games to get into the swing of things, and that night came Thursday.
Beckman’s 21 kills powered Apex past host Holly Springs in a 3-0 sweep, 25-22, 25-11, 25-23 as both teams hit the halfway point in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference season.
“She controls the court,” Apex coach Emily Regan Whitsett said.
Apex is no stranger to injuries. It still doesn’t have top hitter Abigail Veit (out since Aug. 26 – and due out two more weeks – with two injured feet) and has gone two weeks without Natalie White (shoulder).
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“I think this adversity is good for the girls. Everyone gets to play, and in case something happens in the playoffs, at least we’ll all be ready,” Whitsett said. “I’m hoping this is a positive. We’re going into close games that everyone can be used to.”
Meanwhile, the Cougars (7-5, 4-3) have found themselves in a four-way tie for second in the SWAC standings.
“It’s hard because you don’t have any control over (the conference race). I like having control. We’ll see what happens,” Beckman said. “As long as we go to playoffs, we’ll be good.”
Apex kept the Hawks (5-7, 3-4) off-balance with 11 aces from five different players. Libero Coral Kazaroff, a Virginia recruit, was on serve for seven straight points as Apex rallied from down 17-10 to tied in the third set.
Apex’s Anna Patrick had nine kills while Hanna Hepburn added seven.
On the other side, Hawks coach Emily Rice knows there is little margin for error in the SWAC. And for her team, confidence has been that margin.
“We’ve got to be all in it. That’s the thing. The girls have the skill, they just don’t believe in themselves. We’re working on that,” Rice said. “We’re right there or better than the teams we kept losing to. It’s just like the tiniest little decision – the attitude – would make all the difference.”
Jaclyn Brewington had 11 kills for Holly Springs while Mackenzie Reaves added seven and Maylnn Clark had six. Kayla Arthur added five blocks.