An early show of power and finesse by freshman middle hitter Carley Modlin helped get the Sandhills Community College volleyball team off to a good start on the way to a 25-23, 25-17 and 25-23 sweep over Lenoir CC on Wednesday at the Hangar.
The 6-foot-1 product of Pinecrest High School finished with a team-high 12 kills and three blocks as the Lady Flyers, now 4-6, bounced back strong from last week's trip to Ohio where they lost three of their four matches. The three losses came against teams that are ranked No. 1 (Owens). No. 3 (Columbus State) and No. 7 (Lorain) in Tuesday's NJCAA Division III national poll.
This Saturday's scheduled matches in Allendale, SC against USC Salkehatchie and Rockingham CC have been postponed because of Hurricane Dorian. Next on the calendar is a 5 p.m. home date with Wake Tech next Wednesday.
Coach Alicia Riggan watched the Lancers, now 2-1, sweep Central Carolina in Sanford on Tuesday.
"I knew they were going to be aggressive and that No. 12 (Courtney Powers) was a big heavy hand," the coach said. "She's aggressive and I think it was good for Carley to go against somebody about her size. They were both ready to battle each other and the battle at the net was really fun to watch."
Trailing 10-8 in the first set, Alexus McCrimmon was on the serving line for four points in a row, and Modlin had three kills, helping the Flyers take an 18-12 lead.
The visitors drew to within one before the set ended on a Lancer service error.
Three early kills by Modlin, and toughing serving late by Morrigan Denman, helped secure the second set.
"I thought the girls did a great job serving in the second set when we had five aces and zero serving errors," Riggan said.
Denman accounted for half of her 10 kills, and Elyria Hackney contributed all three of hers, in the closely contested third set that was tied for the final time at 23-23 before the Flyers completed the sweep.
"Ohio was an eye opener for us," said McCrimmon, a North Moore High School grad, who combined with Modlin to give the Flyers a strong presence in the middle and served tough throughout with no errors. "We came back and fixed our mistakes and it showed tonight. We got hyped and stayed hyped, and we communicated very well."
"I'd like to see us pick it up on defense, but I think our ball control was good," Riggan said. "I really thought that today it was like we were one unit. It got a little crazy at times, but I'm proud of the girls for winning it in three sets."