Southeast Raleigh volleyball was looking to snap two unwanted streaks heading into Thursday’s showdown with its crosstown foe, Enloe.
The Bulldogs hadn’t won a game in 355 days, a stretch of 11 games, and had a losing streak against the Eagles that stretched even longer: 0-15 over the past 10 years.
Southeast nearly flipped the narrative, but Enloe staged a 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 22-25, 25-20, 15-10) comeback win in front of an energetic home crowd.
“I’m excited. They got me nervous there in the beginning,” Enloe coach Shammara Jones said. “We’re a really young team this year … so the little things we practice that we need to put in games, they showed here today.”
The Eagles snapped a six-game losing streak of their own dating to last year.
Sporting a young roster, Southeast was still encouraged by the result.
“For my girls, it’s a work in progress and they’re getting better. I saw a lot of places they’ve improved since Monday’s game,” Southeast coach Tammy Lackey said. “Most of the girls were JV last year and are adjusting to the speed of the game.”
Southeast Raleigh, despite being a squad that has as many underclassmen as it has juniors and seniors, started off hitting on all cylinders.
The Bulldogs never trailed, sweeping the first set as Maya Johnson had a block and a thunderous kill to cap off a 25-21 set victory.
The ensuing sets had far more back-and-forth with dramatic momentum swings.
Enloe went on a 10-2 run after taking its first lead in the second set before Southeast rallied back to tie things up at 15-all.
The Eagles regained their composure, finishing the set on a 10-4 run to win 25-19.
The hot run didn’t last long, however, as the Bulldogs scored the first eight points of the third set, giving themselves a large enough cushion to secure a 25-22 win and a rare one-set lead. Enloe wasn’t quite ready to give up its streak that early in the night, as strong services from Kelly Wu led the Eagles to a fourth set win.
Despite early errors, Wu led the charge in the tiebreaker set as the Eagles escaped a 6-6 tie by going on an 8-2 run en route to a final Southeast service error securing the win.
“We have to go home and think about what we can do better individually, and as a team,” Lackey said.
THEY SAID IT
“They trust each other and they know when it’s time. They’re not perfect, they’re going to make mistakes but not keep building on those mistakes,” Jones said. “They shake it off and keep playing.”
THREE TO KNOW
Jakaya Moore, Enloe: The freshman can play as a setter or hitter, but excelled at setting her teammates up for kills as a setter on Thursday.
Maya Johnson, Southeast: Johnson, a 5-foot-11 sophomore, made her presence at the net felt all night on both the offensive and defensive ends.
“Size, experience, support and encouragement – she’s a great player all around,” Lackey said.
April Murphy, Enloe: Set her team up with excellent serves and also had crucial digs in the final two sets.