Dominant play at the net made the difference for Garner in a hard-fought volleyball victory at long-time rival Clayton on Thursday night.
Sophomore middle hitter Shaylynn Hall had 11 kills and seven of the Trojans’ 11 total blocks in a 25-23, 25-23, 18-25, 25-15 victory over the Comets.
Garner — which had won five straight conference titles before winning only three matches last season — improved to 5-7 overall and 3-1 in Greater Neuse River 4A play. Clayton is 2-6 and 1-3 as the Trojans snapped a three-game losing streak in the series.
“Any time you go up 2-0 and the other team comes out fast the next game, it’s frustrating,” Garner coach Jason Boyette said. “But actually we played our best ball when we were down in the third set (slicing an 11-point deficit to two points.) In the fourth set, we looked like I wanted us to do. We served, hit, blocked and passed the ball well in that set.”
With Garner leading 10-6 in the third set, freshman Sanaa Lanier served for three straight points and the Comets were never closer than six points back.
They said it
“If the set is off, I just tip it,” Garner’s senior outside hitter Alisha Josey said. “If it’s perfect, I hit it as hard as I can. I was really proud of the way we fought back (from 11 points back to cut it to 20-18 in the third set.) I think that gave us conficence for the fourth set.”
Three who mattered
Shaylynn Hall, Garner: The sophomore middle hitter had 11 kills and seven blocks.
“I worked pretty hard today,” Hall said. “We really wanted to win this game. We knew we were better than we played on Tuesday (in a home loss to Harnett Central). I think we all worked a lot harder in this one.”
Alisha Josey, Garner: The senior outside hitter had seven kills and four service aces.
Cayli Sutton, Clayton: The junior served for five straight points as the Comets went up 6-0 and never trailed in the second set.
“We knew we had to fight hard and push points in the third and that’s what we did,” said Sutton, who left the match with a cramp later in the set. “Sometimes I’m a good server and I was pretty accurate to start that set.”
By the numbers
4: Consecutive Clayton points scored on Bailey Perdue’s serve, including an ace on the final point to end the third set. Garner’s Josey also had four aces.
5: Straight Clayton points scored on Sutton’s serve in the third set.
7: Blocks from Garner’s Hall and kills by Josey.
11: Kills apiece from Garner’s Hall and freshman Lanier.
The Trojans visit conference leader Knightdale this week in a battle for first place, and then travel to West Johnston on Thursday.
Clayton visits county rival West Johnston, and then hosts Rolesville on Thursday.