by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
ROLESVILLE — Tosha Pullen knew she faced a lot of challenges as the Rolesville High School girl’s volleyball coach in the team’s inaugural season.
Success certainly isn’t a guarantee. But with the help of a squad willing to buy into her system, she believes the girls can achieve it.
“We are a team building for the future,” Pullen said. “Every day we are working hard to get better.”
The Rams, 0-3, are composed of eight freshmen and two sophomores and despite their youth and inexperience, they didn’t quit in a home match against East Wake Aug. 29.
Rolesville lost 3-0 by scores of 25-15, 25-19 and 25-10 but at times they looked equally matched to the older and more experienced Warriors. Other times the young Rams let balls drop, while not communicating with each other on the court.
“Overall, they did a very good job,” Pullen said. “They are further along than I thought they would be at this point in the season and they are doing an excellent job against the older and more experienced players.”
In the first set against the Warriors, the Rams got behind early and found themselves down 14-3 and then 23-9 before Rolesville reeled off six consecutive points to pull within 23-15.
In the rally, the Rams picked up service points , blocks and solid play from sophomore Ashley Stroot, who also brings club volleyball experience to the team.
The second game was much closer with Rolesville staying within four to five points of the Warriors until the midway point.
Down 11-16, East Wake went on a 6-0 run pushing the score to 22-12. The Rams bounced back to outscore the Warriors 4-0 bringing the score to 22-16.
In the third game, Rolesville stayed within near range of East Wake at the beginning before getting outscored 9-0.
“We played them close at times,” Pullen said, “and I was proud of my team’s effort.”
Pullen said the roadblocks her team will see this season are all part of the building process that comes with starting a new program.
“They know there will be challenges facing teams with mostly juniors and seniors,” Pullen added. “We’re young but we’ll play hard every match.”
“I told the ladies that I like their progress,” she added. “They are certainly 100 percent better than they were when we started the season. Their chemistry is coming together too,” Pullen said. “It’s not where I want it to be but it’s getting there.”
Rolesville will host Clayton today (Thursday) at 5:30 in a Greater Neuse River Conference match.