Roundup: Johnson's 18 kills lead Scotland past Union Pines

Sep. 6—LAURINBURG — There weren't many bright spots for Scotland volleyball after they started 1-3 overall and were swept in their first two games against West Brunswick and Lumberton.

Someone flipped the switch on recently, though.

Coming off of sweeping Purnell Swett and Hoke County in their last two matches, the Lady Scots pulled their brooms out again Tuesday night when they took down the Union Pines Vikings 3-0 and moved to over .500 for the first time this season.

"It's a big win for us," Scotland head coach Adam Romaine said. "If we play this type of game right now, not saying we'd be undefeated, but we would have played better against the teams we lost to (the) first two games of the season. They were feeding off each other well. And the girls, we just told them, 'Keep this energy up, and (keep) having big hits.'"

Addison Johnson brought some of the biggest hits of the night for Scotland (4-3, 2-0 Sandhills Athletic Conference), leading the way with 18 kills, seven digs, and an ace. Studying her opponent before the game helped her put on another big performance.

"Watching their (Union Pines') warmups, I knew they had big hitters, and I knew that, through the box, I had to read the hitters," Johnson said. "But then, once I got on the front row, I knew I had to capitalize once their big hitters were on the back row. Reading their defense, I saw that the line was open a lot for them, and that's where I tried to hit. And then, once they started hitting line, I started going cross, and I was trying to read the defense to see the best shots and hits to take."

"Addie (Johnson) gave us some big hits," Romaine said. "She has those big hits that just gets the whole bench, gets the girls on the court fired up. And we tell them in timeouts, ... 'Listen, feed off of what Addie's doing. She's hit five different spots in five different swings. Key off that and mirror it.'"

Romaine's team didn't exactly do that to start, falling into a 9-4 hole in the first set. Scotland came back to tie it at 12-12, however, and went up 21-17 before going up 1-0 with a 25-22 win.

Johnson said the crowd was a big reason for the Lady Scots coming back to take the set and the game as a whole.

"Having a loud crowd, it reflected on us," Johnson said. "We were building off of them, they were building off of us, and we just knew that we had to keep our energy up to stay focused in the game. Having the loud crowd behind us it just helped us overall."

The Lady Scots' momentum from the first set rolled over into the second set as they took a 4-1 lead. Union Pines (5-3, 1-1 SAC) evened it out at 5-5, but Scotland scored seven of the following eight points to lead 12-6. The Vikings came to within two points of tying it again at 17-15, but the Lady Scots went up 22-17 before winning the set 25-20.

"Tonight, at times, I was thinking, okay, well, if they're (Union Pines) going to make the run, just don't let it be this time," Romaine said. "But our girls were able to keep that run from happening."

Scotland nearly dominated the third set after beginning up 3-0, then increasing it to 12-5, before winning it 25-14. Union Pines never led in the last two sets.

"Madison Dixon, (at) the end of set three, she had seven straight serves. That's probably a record for her. But of those seven, five of them were aces," Romaine said. "Reagan (Malpass) had some great spots tonight. She was reading the ball well through the net and picking her spots out. Ramsey (Hale) and Dawson (Blue), I'll tell you what, they are impressing us every game as we go forward, what they're doing in the middle right now. Emerie (Snuggs) had a couple little hiccups, but then she got over that ... and then she had a couple of good spots for us. And then Dawson (Blue), she's our little spark plug, man. Everywhere she gets on that court, she's fun to watch."

Malpass had six kills, three aces, and three digs for the Lady Scots. Hale had four kills, Blue had three kills, an ace, and a dig, Dixon had five aces, Nateya Scott had five digs, and Lindsay Locklear had four digs.

It was the first time this season that Locklear played a full game, after she was cleared by her doctor last Thursday to return to the court from knee surgery she had in May.

"Having Lindsay back, it changes chemistry a lot," Romaine said. "She practiced hard Thursday, practiced hard yesterday. And then, when she got the spot where I told her she was going to run the back row tonight, it just really changed the whole mindset of the girls, too. When you get a senior like that, that's been in the program for three years, and she has the mindset that she has and what they saw her doing in practice when she was only released to pass only, the girls (know) that her heart is out there, so they fed off that."

Union Pines' Sydney Hay had 17 assists and six digs, Tyne Ross had 13 kills and 13 digs, Madeline Adair had seven digs and five kills, Mylee Scruggs had seven digs, Allie Bauer had six assists, and Katie Burley had five digs.

The Lady Scots play at South View in Fayetteville on Wednesday in nonconference action.

Scotland men's soccer gets shutout in SAC opener at Hoke County

A game that was originally supposed to be played last Wednesday but was postponed due to Tropical Storm Idalia, the Scotland men's soccer team (0-1-1, 0-1 Sandhills Athletic Conference) lost their conference opener to the Hoke County Bucks (6-1, 1-0 SAC) by a final score of 9-0 Tuesday night.

The Scots had just two shots on goal the entire game, according to head coach Orrick McDougald.

Scotland faces Southern Lee in Sanford on Wednesday.