ZEBULON — Coming off a tough conference loss to Woods Charter, the East Wake Academy volleyball team was determined to right its ship on Aug. 31 as it hosted Kestrel Heights.
The Eagles did just that and evened their league record, defeating Kestrel in straight sets of 25-13, 25-16, 25-17.
“They were really positive and that made all the difference in the world,” coach Maurice Lock said of the Eagles. “We were extremely confident and positive prior to the game and we worked on being positive in practice. They played well from every position on the court.”
East Wake Academy (3-4, 1-1 Central Carolina Athletic League) came out focused, built an early lead and took the opening set with ease.
The focus and positive attitude continued through the final two sets as the Eagles made short order of the match.
“We didn’t let our mistakes get to us, so we were always ready to play loose and the girls killed it,” Lock said.
The Eagles were fueled by a combined team effort of encouragement and hard play.
Junior middle blocker Sarah Jeffries tallied 8 kills, 3 aces and 3 blocks. Senior setter Renata Zeitler added 7 aces, 6 assists, 4 kills, 4 digs and a block, while junior outside hitter Maddie Barnes put up 6 aces, 3 kills and a total of 15 defensive receptions and digs.
“Maddie really stepped up this week, had a great game and made some amazing plays,” Lock said of Barnes.
Sophomore libero Alona Johnson and sophomore defensive specialist Presleigh Anderson also combined for 31 defensive successes against only 4 errors.
“We were truly a team today because we were all encouraging and positive and that was the difference,” Lock added. “They now realize what an amazing team we have and that positive attitudes will do us well here on out.”