Warren Central beats Florence; wins third straight match

Published 7:49 pm Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Warren Central used a combination of hustle, big runs and long rallies to get the better of Florence.

The Lady Vikes closed the first set with a 7-1 run, then pulled away in the second and third to score a 3-0 (25-20, 25-16, 25-21) victory Tuesday night. Emily Vandenniuewboer had 12 kills, Kene Smith had nine and Laney Smith had six.

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Layken Stockstill served six aces, while Elaina Bailey and Abby Claire Fuller had 12 assists apiece.

Warren Central (5-3) won its third consecutive match heading into a key Region 4, Class III match with Greenville on its home floor Thursday at 6:30 p.m. WC has not lost a set during its winning streak.

“Tonight they were calm. They played with more hustle than I’ve seen from them, and that’s more our style. We ran offense really well tonight. Our confidence in our attacking is starting to get much better. They played well tonight,” Warren Central coach Matt Gullett said.

A lot of the success seemed to stem from a calm, patient approach during long rallies. The Lady Vikes won several of them during the second set, and two more for pivotal points in the third.

“We were attacking, but we couldn’t get a kill. So we just kept on going and fighting until we finally got that kill,” Laney Smith said. “It’s very pressuring. You get really tired. But it’s so fun when you get that point after playing back-and-forth. It makes it easier to keep on going.”

The Lady Vikes also went on some big runs to put the dagger into Florence. They won seven of the last eight points in the first set after trailing 19-18. They then outscored Florence 13-4 to close out the second set and finished the match by taking the last two points after the Lady Eagles had closed to within 23-21.

“It was close, but I’m glad we pulled out the win,” Laney Smith said. “Starting off strong helps us throughout the match. We usually start off the other way and have to fight back, so this time starting off strong helped us a lot.”

About Ernest Bowker

Ernest Bowker is The Vicksburg Post's sports editor. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post's sports staff since 1998, making him one of the longest-tenured reporters in the paper's 140-year history. The New Jersey native is a graduate of LSU. In his career, he has won more than 50 awards from the Mississippi Press Association and Associated Press for his coverage of local sports in Vicksburg.

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