Lady Scots get first win at home against Rams

Aug. 29—Editor's note: Player stats for both teams are unofficial.

LAURINBURG — Going into their game against the Purnell Swett Rams, the Scotland volleyball team hadn't won any of their three home matchups this season.

The Lady Scots changed that Monday when they defeated the Rams 3-0 in nonconference action, less than a week removed from sweeping them in Pembroke.

Scotland head coach Adam Romaine felt that his team's serving was a big difference on the night compared to their previous games at home.

"We served the ball great tonight," Romaine said. "They (Purnell Swett) overpassed a lot of our serves, which means we're getting those good serves over. They struggled to get to the ball fast enough. So when they did get hands on it, (their) reaction pass came back over in our advantage, and we were able to get some balls right back over."

In on some of those serves was Lindsay Locklear, a starter from last year who hadn't played yet this season due to rehab from knee surgery.

While she only played sparingly, Locklear didn't know she'd see the court until moments before the first serve.

"He (Romaine) let me know about a couple of minutes before we started the game," Locklear said. "I was excited, but I was also nervous at the same time. It's been so long since I've been on the court. I didn't know how it was going to go."

"It was a decision I pretty much had made over the weekend," Romaine said regarding when he decided he'd let Locklear play against the Rams. "We've been working her in practice a lot with passing drills, and we did a serving drill Friday. She looked very great with her serves. Last year, she was one of our top servers. I was going to put her in to serve tonight and have her play the ball out until she loses back there passing. I wasn't going to lose anything because she's been doing pretty good passing the ball for us in our drills, too."

Scotland (2-3) started each set with a 5-0 lead and took the first one 25-9.

Romaine said he wanted his team to keep pressuring Purnell Swett (4-3) in the second set — something they've had trouble with this season.

"I told the girls, I said, 'let's carry the momentum over,'" Romaine said. "Let's not let them start off with a 4-0 run or nothing like that. I said, 'Let's go ahead and get that serve broke (as) fast as we can.' And they did, broke first serve. And then we roll back into Reagan (Malpass), who's our number one server, and she got us four or five points to the good, and we just kind of rolled from there and kept it going."

The Lady Scots led the second set 20-7 before the Rams gained five of the following six points; Scotland closed out the set 25-14. The dominant showing continued for Scotland in the third set, where they won 25-11 to clinch the victory.

Addison Johnson had 11 kills and five digs for Scotland, Malpass had nine assists and two kills, Madison Dixon had five assists and two kills, Emerie Snuggs had four kills, and Ramsey Hale had three kills.

Emily Cummings had five digs for Purnell Swett, Anileigh Locklear had three kills and two digs, Yazmyn Locklear had three digs, and Calista Lewis had six assists.

The Lady Scots playing the Rams last week gave Romaine a chance to evaluate what his team needs to change or continue doing this time against them.

Romaine said a big thing he saw was that they tried to take Johnson out of the equation in the first meeting.

"They changed their defense on us last week," Romaine said. "After set one, they broadened their middle over and doubled up on Addie (Johnson) a lot. So, I told my setters, 'Hey, let's recognize that.' With that being said, it makes the middle, the donut in the middle, open more, mix it up, and set some other girls. I told Addie at the same time when you get doubled, I told my girls to let her know when she's got double so she can hit around it, over it, tip over, do different things. So that was one adjustment we made that worked for us on offense. That was a big plus tonight, too."

The Lady Scots open up Sandhills Athletic Conference play at Hoke County on Tuesday.

"It's big to have a good win when you start (the) conference, especially (with) the way we've been playing for the last two weeks," Romaine said. "Now, we go to Hoke (County), a very hostile environment for us to always play in. No matter how great we are, how bad we're playing, or how great they're playing, it's just a hostile environment.

"It's a different setup in that gym. The roof is lower in there. You've got to be more controlled with your passes. So, knowing those things looked good tonight, having this win and the way they played tonight, hopefully, that's going to carry over into our game with Hoke tomorrow night."