Smithfield: Sports

Corinth Holders toughs out shaky start, then rolls

If there was a negative in Corinth Holders’ first road volleyball match of the season, it was the slow start the Pirates endured each game.

Those slow starts didn’t phase the Pirates, however, as they won their second consecutive match to open the season, sweeping past Franklinton, 3-0. In winning by scores of 25-20, 25-22 and 25-13, the Pirates of the Two Rivers 3A Conference had to overcome not only slow starts but their pesky former Northern Carolina 2A Conference rival, the Red Rams. The first two games saw teams battling not as nonconference rivals, but with the same verve and tenacity as they had the three previous seasons as league foes.

The Pirates needed late-game runs in taking the first two sets, then broke open a tight third set with a 9-1 spree in capturing the sweep. “We came out a little bit hesitant (in the first game),” said Pirates coach Charles Riley. “It didn’t seem we were playing our best at first, but I think we overcame that. We stuck with it, and we were mentally tough.” Leading that toughness were seniors Cole Narron, Lexi Consiglio, Cyarra Pierson and Lindsay Alford.

Consiglio, playing the librero position, engineered the floor work as well as the service game delivering four aces, three in the final game, and 11 service points along with six dig in the match.

She was complemented by Narron, whose backline play posted four kills, two blocks, four digs, three aces and 10 service points.

With that effort in the back, the frontline of Pierson, Alford, Christi Innocent and Kelly Ammons responded, attacking the Red Rams all over the floor. Pierson and Alford pounded the Red Rams relentlessly, registering eight and four kills, respectively, with Alford combining on double blocks with Katelyn Leach and Samantha Payne.

Alford was in on six blocks in the contest and added eight service points.

The Pirates used a 4-0 surge in the first game to build a 13-9 lead, then hold a consistent three point lead the rest of the way. Pierson came to life in the second game, blasting five kills, while Narron added a pair of kills and teamed with Consiglio for three digs apiece as the Pirates rallied from a 17-14 deficit to take a 22-20 lead. Franklinton rallied to tie the set at 22 before committing errors on two of the next three points, giving the Pirates the set.

“I think just settling down and letting them (Red Rams) know we knew how to pass the ball and that we know how to set the ball helped us,” Riley said. “We have some timing issues right now with our setters and hitters. Such as trying to place the ball too much (on the court) and hitting it too hard, instead of letting the game come naturally.”