Heritage and Enloe’s volleyball teams were playing for pride – and for 2017 – Thursday night at Enloe, and both showed glimpses of a positive future in the Huskies’ 25-11, 25-23, 25-15 sweep of the Eagles.
Juniors Ally Harper and Sammy Quiroz combined for 15 kills, while Harper and junior Victoria LeGrant combined for nine aces for Heritage (5-16, 2-11 Cap-8). Plus, sophomore Alissa Brennan had three aces and dug nearly everything hit her way as the Huskies ended a seven-match losing streak.
“It’s really great to get a win,” Brennan said. “I just enjoy playing volleyball, but finally winning is really great. After a season of losing, it just lifts our spirits even more. Next week is Senior Night, and I’m really excited for that. Coming off a win, I really hope we can do great things and win our last match.”
Enloe (1-20, 0-13) has endured a difficult rebuilding year, but the Eagles had flashes of brilliance Wednesday. Enloe rallied from an 11-4 deficit to lead 18-17 in the second game before falling. Freshman Jakya Moore had five kills and displayed a solid court presence.
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“I made her one of our captains this year because she is so vocal and she does have court experience,” Eagles coach Shammara Jones said. “Seeing her play, sometimes the girls are like, ‘All right, my turn.’ Having her light that match is really good.”
The Huskies have lost several games by five or fewer points, as Jessica Furlough’s team couldn’t push through late in matches. But when Heritage plays well, they play really well, as demonstrated by Tuesday’s first set. Nineteen points came on kills or aces, as the Huskies in-system game was rolling.
Furlough said communication was key during that game, making Heritage play more fluid.
“When we are in system and communicating, it’s easier,” Furlough said. “Everybody knows where everybody is on the court, and it works a lot better.”
The problem has been keeping that going more than a few points at a time
“You get out of system one or two (points), and they kinda freak out,” Furlough said.
Brennan did her best to keep her team in system, making numerous digs from her libero spot.
“I wish she knew how well she played,” Furlough said. “I’ve told her I need her to see herself how other people see her as a player. She’s really starting to read the court, read the hitters well – and she’s only a sophomore.”
Furlough knows her team can be better in 2017, but she’s thought that each of the past two seasons as well, only to have an important player move away each year.
“I look forward to next year,” Furlough said. “I look forward to them growing stronger as a team, with more chemistry and just being comfortable with each other.”
Eagles coach Shamara Jones had to rebuild a team that lost all six starters from a year ago, and it’s been rocky.
“I’m fairly young,” Jones said of her team. “I have to keep reminding myself (of that) – and other people remind me. … That’s how the cookie crumbles.”
Jones recently moved sophomores Stephanie and Tiffany Ding and J’nea Wiggins up from the junior varsity to give them more experience – and to inject some energy.
“I’m expecting to be much better,” Jones said of next season. “What I’ve seen these last couple games by moving up the JV players, I’m excited, I’m really excited.”