Garner volleyball just might be ready to get back to the top of the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference mountain.
Alisha Josey’s run of 12 straight service points put an end to East Wake’s hopes for victory Thursday night as the Trojans won 25-14, 25-23, 24-26, 25-14. That improved the resurgent Trojans to 4-6, 2-0 in conference play, while East Wake fell to 2-4 and 0-2.
Garner had won five straight GNRC titles before a tough campaign last time in which just about everybody got revenge as the Trojans won only three matches.
“Any time you win a conference game, it’s great,” Garner coach Jason Boyette said. “And any time you win more games than you did the year before it’s great, no matter what the numbers are. It’s always positive to win. We’ve talked about how last year wasn’t fun, and now we’ve got a lot of girls who have been around the conference before.”
East Wake, which endured a tough opening set before dropping a nail-biter in the second and winning a similar one in the third, was without senior middle hitter Angel Rizor who is weighing several high-major basketball offers. She was recovering from having her wisdom tooth pulled.
“Overall we were a lot better after the first set,” said East Wake assistant coach Ashley Harris, filling in for head coach Keauna Vinson who was away on a post-graduate academic assignment. “But we haven’t played to out potential yet. We’ve got to do a lot better job of talking on the court.”
The rematch is Sept. 29 at Garner.
Josey’s long service run to end the match. East Wake had been gaining momentum for three straight sets before the run.
They said it
“We’ve definitely picked it up from last season,” Garner senior Alisha Josey said. “We’ve got a lot more knowledge on the team and a really good freshman (in Sanaa Lanier). We all came out this year ready to forget about last year and start fresh.”
Three who mattered
Shaylynn Hall, Garner: The sophomore middle hitter had 10 blocks and three kills.
“We made a big push at the end, but we could have been a lot better,” Hall said. “We’re doing a really good job with blocks and hits.”
Alisha Josey, Garner: The senior outside hitter served five aces and served the last 12 points of the match.
McKenzie Moore, East Wake: The sophomore had five kills and six blocks.
By the numbers
5: Aces by Josie and teammate Kacie Meekhof; blocks by Moore and both blocks and kills from East’s Haley Glover.
6: Blocks by Moore and kills by East’s Tamira Knuckles.
7: Kills by Garner freshman Sanaa Lanier.
10: Kills by Hall.
12: Straight service points by Josey to finish the fourth set.
14: Times the score was tied in the third set.
“After the first set we got our nerves out and realized we could play with them,” said East Wake junior Knuckles, who finished with six kills and two blocks. “We need to start talking a lot more, and not get down on ourselves when we have a rough stretch.”