The Clinton Dark Horses volleyball team competed in three games this past week and came out victorious all three matches during a vital stretch of the season. Coming up with wins against Wallace-Rose Hill, Midway, and Spring Creek, the Lady Dark Horses have positioned themselves in a tie with Midway for second place in the East Central Conference and just one game behind East Duplin. Now, East Duplin is waiting in the wings for two crucial showdowns with the Lady Horses scheduled for next week.
After defeating Wallace-Rose Hill on Monday in straight sets, Clinton needed redemption against the Lady Raiders to get themselves into this position.
A long time classic rivalry between the Dark Horses and the Raiders took place at Clinton High on Tuesday as the two teams battled it out on the volleyball court. It was a tight match the entire night that saw the Horses come away with a 3-1 win. This was yet another revenge match for Clinton, this being the second outing between these two. The Lady Raiders came out on top in the first match up, back on Sept. 4 in a 3-1 decision on their home turf but Clinton denied them this go around.
This victory marks back-to-back conference wins for the Lady Dark Horses and their fourth straight win, following their 3-0 trouncing of Wallace on Monday. Much like that game they didn’t play particularly well again. Regardless, they were able to clutch it out when it mattered most in taking three straight sets 25-22, 25-23 and 25-23 after dropping the first set 25-22.
As the scores indicated it, was a close toe-to-toe battle every step of the way and the matches really could’ve gone either way. For Clinton, they’ll need to clean up some of their play quickly as they are slated to face undefeated East Duplin twice next week.
Something Lady Horses dead coach Jennifer Edgerton is definitely aware of.
“Tonight was a hard fought win I know that much. I’m glad we won but we still didn’t play much better than we did on Monday,” Edgerton said. “We’ll need to fix our problems before next week for sure because we’ve got East Duplin twice.”
Jasmine Ford, Taylor Spell and Addie Sessoms led the assault again for Clinton with six kills a piece.
As for the Raiders side of court, it was a simple factor of not playing a complete game. They started out strong when taking the opening set but just didn’t “bring it” in the following sets as Midway head coach Brandy Wrench put it after the game.
They also played a little to passively at times, even when ahead, their lack of aggressiveness is something Wrench noted as well.
“We just didn’t bring it tonight and we just can’t let teams get back up on us. We’ve got to get our teamwork better and also get better at staying on top when we’re ahead,” Wrench said.
“We’ve just got to improve on working as a team and being more aggressive offensively. And when someone has the hot hand we’ve just got to feed it to them. So, our job going forward is learning how to put all that together,” she added.
Unfortunately for the Raiders they’ll have to figure all that out on the fly as they have a rematch with East Duplin on Wednesday.
Clinton took the court again Thursday when they traveled to take on Spring Creek, looking to keep their streak alive.
The Lady Horses were caught off guard in the first set as the Lady Gators stunned Clinton in the first set with a 25-23 lead. Spring Creek now having earned Clinton’s full attention, the Lady Horses settled down and went right to work against their opponent, reeling off three-straight wins at 25-12, 25-12, and 25-9.
With the wins, Clinton’s overall record now stands at 11-3 overall and 5-2 in conference play.
Next week mirrors this past week for the Lady Horses as three tough games await, including two against East Duplin on Monday and Thursday and a trip to Wallace-Rose Hill on Tuesday.
Reach Sports Editor Daron Barefoot at [email protected]