Harnett Central’s Camryn Huber explained three reasons her volleyball teammates celebrated a milestone victory over Garner, even though they didn’t bring home a championship.
It was as easy as counting three straight wins over their longtime nemesis in the Greater Neuse River Conference.
“This is the first time we’ve never lost to Garner in a season,” said Huber, who dominated play at the net. “It means a lot for our seniors to beat them three times.”
Harnett Central’s 3-1 win Thursday at South Garner High’s campus was the second in Greater Neuse River Conference play. In match of Trojans, Central won 18-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-19 over Garner.
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Harnett Central had won an early-season tournament match over the Garner 3-2 before winning 3-0 at home in the first league meeting.
Harnett Central (10-7) and Garner (8-11) are now tied at 5-5 in league play, but Central will have the tiebreaker if they end up in a tie in the league standings at the end of the regular season.
Huber, a 5-foot-10 ½ junior, said the confidence her team has gained was evident by the way they bounced back from dropping the first game, 18-25.
“We’ve improved so much, it’s amazing,” she said. “We’ve all gotten closer as friends and our skills have improved. We put so much work into practice to get better.”
After the first game, Harnett Central scored the crucial points at the end of close second and third games. Neither team managed more than a two- or three-point lead most of the way.
“We weren’t playing good volleyball at the beginning,” Huber said. “But then we started working together. We finally got our groove.”
Part of working together was setting Huber for shots. She finished with a match-high 24 kills. Seniors contributed mightily to their first sweep of Garner were Kayla East, 13 kills; Megan Parrish, 27 assists; and Searria Fisher 35 digs.
Despite winning the first game and dropping the next three, Garner Coach Jason Boyette thought his young team made younger by an injury to Shalynn Hall played one of its better matches of the year.
“We had three or four freshman out there playing important minutes,” he said. “Sometimes the played like freshmen and sometimes like they were much older. They hit well, covered well, blocked well served well. They did everything I asked them to do.”
Garner hopes Hall, a 5-11 junior and three-year letterman, returns soon from a wrist injury suffered on Tuesday in a 3-1 loss to East Wake. In her absence, Garner relied on 5-9 sophomore Sanaa Lanier’s play at the net. She finished with 15 kills.
THEY SAID IT
“Garner has owned us. One of our objectives has been to get our program to their level. They have been a good measuring stick for us.” – Harnett Central Coach Jason Harrell.