VANCEBORO | In their final match of the season, the Havelock Rams used strong serves and strong play at the net to overpower the West Craven Eagles in a Coastal 3A Conference matchup.
The Rams defeated the Eagles in three games – 25-22, 25-14, 25-19.
With the victory, the Rams improved their record to 6-12 overall and 5-7 in the conference, finishing in fourth place.
The loss dropped the Eagles, who were playing their first match since Hurricane Matthew hit Eastern North Carolina, to 7-12 overall and 2-7 in the conference.
Playing their home match at West Craven Middle School, the Eagles jumped out to a fast start and didn’t appear rusty.
Because of the hurricane, the Eagles fit in just a couple practices in the past few days.
Havelock, despite being down 16-7 in the first set, battled back to get within 22-20.
The Eagles had a difficult time handling Nseya Harden’s serve as she scored the next five service points a help Havelock take the first game.
“We have been talking and focusing on letdowns, coming back from a deficit, and they came back in that first game. I am just really proud of them,” said Havelock head coach Carrie Lynch.
Havelock’s Makayla Brown said her teammates had a never give up attitude.
We didn’t get frustrated and we just had a good attitude and that boosted us up,” she said.
At the start of the second set, neither team took more than a two-point lead, as the teams traded points back-and-forth.
With the score tied at 10-10, Havelock went on a run.
With Lauren Hunter serving, she helped her team win the next six points.
Havelock took a big lead and won the second set.
Brown, a senior, had seven assists in the set.
On the receiving end of most of her assists was middle hitter Nyesha Patillo.
“I feel like our passes were good, our sets were good, our hits were good and the energy was good,” said Brown.
In spite of losing the first two games, the Eagles showed a lot of heart and fight at the start of the third set.
Carson Jones and Abby Bland had a couple of kills at the net to give West Craven an early lead.
However, much like the first two sets, the Eagles had a tough time handling the Rams’ serves, and as a result, they were not able to get clean passes to their setters.
The Rams grew their lead to seven and went continued on to take the match. Alexis Washenko had four kills and Brown had six assists in the final set for Havelock.
“These girls have come a long way (won three games total last year),” said Lynch. “Our goal at the beginning of the season was just to grow and I think we met that goal.”