Freshman Ashley Caesar goes up to attempt a kill against the visiting team in the 3-0 win over Converse. PN photo/Trevon Knight
Braves volleyball snapped a two-match losing streak on Oct. 16 and built up some much-needed momentum at home as they knocked off the visiting Valkyries of Converse in three sets.
UNCP had three Braves register double-digit kills in the match as the team flexed their offensive muscle against a weaker opponent. Freshman Shannon Skryd led all players with 15 kills, followed closely by redshirt freshman Ashley Caesar with 12 of her own. Senior Aquia Jones also logged 10 kills and three blocks in the victory.
The Braves ran away with the first two sets, winning them by margins of 25-18 and 25-17 as the team racked up kills. The third set was more tightly contested as UNCP went deeper into their player rotation but still pulled out the victory 25-22.
“Our offense was really clicking tonight. Both of our middles did really well and just stepped up and made some plays for us. We had some production from Shannon and Aquia really stepped up as well, so we had a lot of options going which I think was huge for us,” coach Ellen McGill said.
McGill particularly highlighted Skryd as a standout player on the court during the game.
“I think we’ve been using her a lot...She’s been getting a lot of kills so hopefully we’ll continue to be more and more consistent on the outside [with Shannon],” she said.
Due to the homecoming festivities at the match, the home crowd turnout was larger than usual for the Braves, an important advantage for a team looking to build momentum.
“It’s awesome. It makes a huge difference when we have fans there versus in an empty gym...it brings a lot of momentum. Now we have a good feeling in our stomach, good vibes going into practice. Momentum is everything in the sport of volleyball so we just gotta hope to carry that good feeling going into the weekend,” McGill said.