North Forsyth got the best of Forsyth Central during a tri-match Thursday night, held at North Forsyth High School.
The Lady Raiders dominated the first set against Central, eventually running away to a 25-9 win, but the Bulldogs found some bounce in their step in the second set and competed, but eventually fell 25-20. The 2-0 victory for North gave them two wins on the night after defeating West Hall 2-0 as well (25-14, 25-15).
North (3-1) was led by towering sophomore Maddie Bryant, who now stands over 6-feet. Bryant recorded 14 total kills against Central. She also had six aces in the previous match against West Hall.
“She started for us as a freshman last year and has only gotten better,” North coach Joy Stewart said. “She really has tons of potential for us.”
In the first set, Stewart called a timeout with the game tied at 6-6, highlighting a number of serve and attack errors. When the Lady Raiders came out of the stop in play, they immediately looked like a different team, cleaning up and going on a 9-0 run to stop the score again at 16-7. Bri Gilbert added in five kills in the first set.
Central came out stronger in set two, taking a 4-0 lead. The Lady Bulldogs also led 10-8 and 14-13, forcing Stewart into a timeout, before North once again pulled away with its talent. Central had just six kills against 13 errors for the match, but coach Katie Vasquez was pleased with the improvements as the match went on.
“We just had fewer errors. We were more aggressive, more comfortable,” Vasquez said.
On Stewart’s side, the emphasis after the match was about getting even better. Despite the successful day, she saw plenty of room for improvement.
“We’re still a really young team and we had a lot of service errors and a lot of hitting errors,” Stewart said. “This and the last match we were laughing because every single match this year we’ve had a set start off down at least 5-0. We’re going to spend a lot of time in practice about wanting to start fast and not making mental errors. We can’t give every team five points to start. We’ve got to play clean from the get go.”
A highlight moment was when sophomore Kala Campbell entered for North on the front row when she wasn’t expecting to. Moments later, Campbell—a primary defender—had a kill.
“I originally thought that the player she was subbing for was back row,” Stewart laughed. “She’s a defensive specialist, so when I subbed her she got to the line and realized she was up front. She freaked out for a moment, but our setter thought it would be funny to send her a ball and she got a kill, which was awesome.”
In earlier action for the Lady Bulldogs, Central (1-1) was led to victory by Julia Jasion’s six kills against West Hall.