(Braves celebrate a point in a 3-1 against Chowan in this past Saturdays Tr-Match PN/Jayden Berkin)
By Jayden Berkin and Zack Ciboth, Sport Editors
The UNC Pembroke Volleyball team defeated the Chowan Hawks in Confernce Carolina opener for the Braves. After taking the first set and dropping the second set, the Braves came out with a vengeance, claiming the next two sets for a 3-1 win over the Hawks (25-21, 22-25, 25-14, 29-27).
“Our adjustments we made on the defensive side of the ball is what helped us win and that’s kind of what we talked about in that last timeout since (Chowan) was scarppy, I told our team not to be caught off-guard and stay disciplined and composed and I think that’s why we were able to pull this out in four sets.” Head coach Jaleesa Harper said.
The Baves jumped out ahead of the Hawks early with a 8-2 lead and keeping a solid lead despite the Hawks clawing their way back but a crucial kill by the Braves offense help propel them to a 25-21 set win to lead 1-0. The second set saw Chowan and UNCP trading shot for shot in a nail biting finsish where Chowan held a 24-19 lead that quickly cut into a 24-22 lead thanks to a Braves run but the Hawks held on for the 25-22 win to tie the match at 1-1.
The Braves and Hawks kept it close going back and forth but 80 scoring surge helped the Braves stay in control and take the set in clean fasion 25-14 and the 2-1 lead. The fourth set was not so easy for the Braves with the Hawks looking to force a fifth set. The Braves and Hawks traded kill for kill and shot for shot keeping it close the whole way and the Braves were able to hold on after a long fourth set by going on a 2-0 run to take the high scoring set 29-27 and the match to secure the win at home.
“I told them once we get that next sideout, that our defense is going to win us the game and we made an adjustment on the block and I think that’s where we were struggling, they [Chowan] were kind of tooling our block and finding some holes in there and we finished the set with a block, so they listened, which was great, so I think like I said it was defense and staying composed.” Harper said.
Emma Fraidenburg led the team in kills with 15, Abby Peduzi followed with 13 Vanja Przulj recored 11 kills. Karagyn Durco tallied 32 assists on the night and Katie Pressley recorded 25 assist. Hope Turbyfill had 19 digs on the night and Ruby Countryman had three blocks at the net.
“This weekend honestly was a really good test for me since the last couple of games, I had my record kills for the year and it was good to know that I could switch back and forth and still be successful,” Fraidenburg said.
In the closing match of the Tri-Match the Braves defeated the Winston-Salem State Rams in a non-conference win. The Rams came out against the Braves with aggressive play but the Braves handled the match and held off a comeback and took it 3-1 ( 25-21, 25-23, 26-28, 25-18).
” I’m glad we came out with two wins, Obviously that’s the goal, and we played two very scrappy teams in (Chowan) and (WSU) so that really challenged us but I’m happy of how we were able to finish and win both games,” Harper said.
The Braves took control early in the first set but the Rams went on a 8-0 scoring run to chop the Braves lead to 15-13, UNCP used a scoring surge of their lead to push ahead and take the first set 25-21. The second set saw the Rams take a early 10-3 that was cut quickly by the Braves and after a kill by Peduzzi gave them the 18-15 lead and then went on a 5-2 run to close out the set 25-23 and take a 2-0 match lead.
The Braves held off an aggressive third set against the Rams , with both sides trading shot for shot with the Rams taking the set in the end 28-26 to keep the match alive. The Braves though had an answers right away for the Rams and took a the fourth set with east 25-18 and the match 3-1.
Countryman led the way in kills with 15 , Anaya Carter followed with 14 kills. Durco recored 29 assist on the night and Presley had 22. Turbyfill added to her dig total in the second game with 19 and Katelyn West had two blocks at the net.
“It’s definitely a great feeling because going from high school to here its like a big step up and like you just have to relax and focus. So it was a good feeling to know that I stuck with it and did my best to keep it on the court and not make any errors,” Carter said.
The Braves (6-5, 1-0 CC) will continue Conference Carolina play when they travel to Florence, S.C when they take on Francis Marion (4-6, 0-0 CC) in the Battle for I-95 on Wednesday at 6 p.m.