09/17/04 — North Lenoir sweeps past Greene Central

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North Lenoir sweeps past Greene Central

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on September 17, 2004 1:56 PM

SNOW HILL -- The attacks flowed freely from the middle and outside.

A single-blocker coverage scheme couldn't slow down the assault. Poor passing in the receiving game and lack of movement in general factored into the outcome.

Oh yeah. North Lenoir was impressive.

First-year Greene Central volleyball coach Kevin Hart offered that short synopsis after the Hawks pounded the Rams 25-10, 25-10, 25-7 in a Class 2-A Eastern Plains Conference match Thursday afternoon. North Lenoir extended its EPC win streak to 32 matches and handed Hart's team its first loss in conference play this season.

Hart admitted his team could have been tired after five-set matches against South Central and North Pitt. A hard, successful practice Wednesday afternoon could have attributed to the fatigue.

"Either their dominance put us in a funk or we were tired from those games, but we didn't play near our capabilities," Hart said. "I don't think we should have beaten them. But the scores should have been better.

"We should have gotten several kills."

The Rams (3-10) struggled to return serve all afternoon and couldn't push the ball to setters Maria Pulico and Peoria Wade for attacks of their own. Greene Central yielded too many transition balls and North Lenoir, the reigning three-time EPC champion, capitalized on each play.

Outside hitters Brittany Sanders and Rachel Cromer, and middle hitter Randi Moulton combined for five kills to give the Hawks an 9-3 lead. The opening-game run immediately set the tempo.

Once the Rams settled down a little defensively, North Lenoir (12-1, 2-0 EPC) increased its intensity level. The Hawks covered the floor well against their opponent's single-blocker strategy and moved with ease in transition from defense to offense.

Senior setter Chanee Lynch dished out assist after assist and finished with 23 on the afternoon. The Hawks collected 34 kills as a team and committed just five errors, including none in the final game.

Moulton provided a match-high 10 kills. Shannon Plymouth, who emerged the defensive leader with five digs, added eight kills and one solo block. Cromer contributed seven kills, while Leslie Oliver and Sanders combined for seven kills.

"Our main goal is just to attack and be aggressive," fourth-year Hawks coach Heather Humphrey said. "When we set it up there, we hit the ball hard. Chanee does a really good job of not going to just one person, but using all three hitters."

Lynch and Moulton each served five aces, and the Hawks had 18 overall. Meanwhile, the Rams didn't earn an ace and committed nine serving errors.

"The girls stayed focused and passed the ball, which is important on serving," Humphrey said. "We didn't stand on our heels and were ready for the ball to come back (each time)."

Hart agreed the Hawks pass the ball better than any team he has seen this season, but added that they've got numerous weapons -- people who can do things well in all phases of the game. Six players had at least two kills apiece for North Lenoir, which averaged double figures in kills each set.

Briana Stanton led the Rams with five kills, three digs and two solo blocks. Teketia May added three kills, three solo blocks and two digs.