The Topsail High School volleyball team got its first conference win of the season on Tuesday against Ashley, winning 3-0. It was a breakthrough for the Pirates and another learning step for the Screaming Eagles.
It was a tight match the whole way as Topsail won 25-23, 25-20, 25-19. Ashley coach Sarita Havens is still winless after inheriting the varsity team this week, but she makes it clear that the coaching change is not what's bringing this team down.
"I want to provide that heart to give them that push," said Havens, whose team also lost 3-0 on Monday to perennial state power Northwest Guilford. "It's a lot different than coaching JV because you have to show them fundamentals. Varsity has a lot of that push, but they need to work on some fundamentals also. I just want them to experience success, and they're going through a hard transition with the coaching change, but that's not the main reason why they're having these tough losses."
In the first game, Havens' daughter, Felecity, hit a spike that would have tied the game at 24-24, but the official waved it off because she touched the net and Topsail won the set. In the second set, the teams were tied at 19-19, but Topsail closed with a 6-1 run. The last set went back and forth before Topsail pulled away by scoring three straight points.
Topsail coach Hill Pearsall was impressed with how his team was able to win.
"This is probably the best we've played as a team this season," said Pearsall, whose Pirates improved to 6-1, 1-1. "We're going to watch the film a little bit and see what we can improve on from there. It was big win for us after we had a really tough time against Hoggard. I told the girls before the game that this game would set up the rest of the season. We had a great serving night, the game went back and forth, but we were able to come out on top."
As for Coach Havens, she explained what her girls need to do to improve in their third match in three days, on Wednesday night vs. Jacksonville.