Considering that it was the first conference match of the season, Sandhills Community College Coach Alicia Riggan was surprised her team was so flat in the first game of Tuesday's volleyball match at Central Carolina Community College.
In the end, the Lady Flyers prevailed 17-25, 25-14, 25-11 and 25-5, evening their record at 7-7 on the season. Middle hitter Carley Modlin was credited with a season-high 16 kills to go with three solo blocks.
Playing in her hometown of Sanford for the first time as a collegian, outside hitter Elyria Hackney put together a strong all-around game that included six service aces, four kills and six digs.
Next on the agenda is a 6 p.m. match on Wednesday at the Hangar with Richard Bland CC of Petersburg, VA supplying the opposition.
The Cougars, now 1-8, had never won a set from the Flyers, but held the lead throughout the entire first set.
"This should have been an exciting time, starting conference," Riggan said afterward. "We just didn't show up in the first game. It was our hitting and serving – one thing after another.
"It was like a domino effect. Central came ready to play and they had the energy the entire first set."
The Cougars took the first four points of the second set, before the Flyers got rolling. Modlin, Hackney and Morrigan Denman began finding the range with their attacks. Hackney was at the service line for the final seven points, including a service ace for the 25th.
"They shouldn't have taken a set from us," Hackney said. "We were just really off. The second set we had to really show ourselves and we did. This was our first conference game and we had to win it."
Modlin had three kills as the Flyers took a 9-0 lead in the third set. On a night they made a total of 17 aces, Charlotte Herring had two in a row midway through the set that was concluded on another finish by Modlin.
Leading 8-2 in the decisive fourth, Hackney was on the service line for the next nine points, including four consecutive aces during one stretch.
Looking on as the Lee County graduate, played with high energy, were a member of the Cougars who was a high school teammate, a teammate from a club team and Cougar Coach Bill Carter, one of her club coaches.
"Elyria was all over the court," Riggan said. "It was fun to watch her play with a smile on her face."
Other statistical leaders for the winners were Adison Campbell with 22 assists, four aces and six digs, and Denman with seven kills and six digs.
Looking ahead to Wednesday's match, the Lady Flyers won the first set before falling 3-1 to Division I Richard Bland, now 3-6, on August 24.
"I hope we have a big crowd and take care of business," The Flyers' coach said.