ROWLAND — Purnell Swett’s volleyball team claimed an opening victory over match host and county rival South Robeson on Tuesday, taking three of four games.
Even having a team on the floor at this point is something of an accomplishment for the Pembroke school.
The Lady Rams have practiced wherever they could through the summer as work to replace their gym floor has continued. They practiced at middle schools, but then some of those gyms also needed renovations, Coach Courtney Hill said.
An assistant coach said games are going to be their practices.
But if they were supposed to be under-prepared and struggle in their season opener, someone forgot to tell the players.
The Lady Rams took the first game 25-20 behind strong scoring from Ambria Hunt with 7 and Alaixa Feliciano with 6. Cangela Murphy led the South Robeson effort with 7, followed by Halei Chavis with 6.
Game 2 was Purnell Swett’s most lopsided victory at 25-16. Lady Ram Sheanna Oxendine led all scorers with 8. Latoria Hunt led South Robeson with 7.
The Lady Mustangs turned the tables convincingly in Game 3 as Micaela Hunt poured in 8 scores and Nakala Brooks posted 7 for a 25-14 victory. The Lady Rams’ leading scorer was Oxendine with 5.
The home team appeared to have an early edge in a closely faught game 4, but Purnell Swett pulled even and then went ahead and appeared prepared to wrap things up quickly. However, South Robeson staged a furious rally to bring the score to 24-21 before Purnell Swett scored the match-winning point.
Ambria Hunt of Purnell Swett led all scorers with 8 in Game 4. Brooks led South Robeson with 6.
For the match, Oxendine was the overall top scorer with 21. Also in double figures on the night for Purnell Swett were Ambria Hunt with 18 and Alicia Freeman with 11.
South Robeson’s match leaders were Chavis with 18, Micaela Hunt with 17 and Brooks with 15.
South Robeson coach Donnie Carter, while disappointed with the loss, complimented the tenacity of his players, who came close to rallying after being down two games to force a game five. He said some other teams might have greater athleticism, but his squad makes up for it in effort.
Purnell Swett is now 1-0 on the season after the nonconference victory. The Lady Mustangs fall to 0-1.
The two teams are scheduled to meet again Tuesday.
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