by Becky Kimbrell-Norris
WAKEFIELD — Wakefield High School’s volleyball team came into this season with high expectations and through the first half of their schedule, it has appeared those expectations are justified.
The team orchestrated perhaps it’s most complete effort Tuesday with a 3-0 win over Leesville Road, last year’s North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4A runner-ups.
The Wolverines, 11-1 overall and 8-1 in the league, played aggressive offense and solid defense in all three sets and never allowed the Pride to get more than 20 points.
Leesville was unable to gain the lead in any of the three games and only tied once with the Wolverines at 1-1 in the third frame.
Wakefield made quick work of their visitors, sweeping them 25-11, 25-17 and 25-17.
Head coach Cynthia Terrell was pleased with how her team worked together against the Pride and with senior hitter Darian Mack back, thinks they are building momentum as the season progresses.
“It makes a difference when you have all of your players,” Terrell said. “With Darian back, we have found our chemistry again.”
“We did everything we practiced this week to finish this game and it worked,” Terrell added.
Mack had been sidelined with an ankle injury and did not play in the Wolverine’s only loss last week (to Broughton) and also missed the game against Heritage, which Wakefield won in four sets.
Wakefield came out strong in the first game and scored the first four points, which set the tone for both the game and the match.
Setter Gabby Benda set up hitters Maya Muldrow, Julia Forbes and Jordan Glass for multiple powerful kills in the first frame.
In game two, the Wolverines dominance continued and they secured points by attacking the ball and making difficult digs to keep the ball in the air and the volleys going.
They also protected their zone with big blocks, slamming balls back over the net.
Wakefield outscored Leesville Road 6-0 at one point and led by as many as eight points.
The Wolverines’ confidence carried over into game three which they took control of from the start.
“After losing to Broughton, we have worked really hard,” Muldrow said. “We took practice serious and with Darian back in our line-up, we’re more competitive.”
“I think we’re getting back to where we were,” Terrell added. ‘We’re playing good now and we hope it continues during the second half of our season.”
Wakefield hosts Sanderson today (Thursday) in another conference match.