LAUREL HILL — One match into the 2014 volleyball season Baker School Coach Tommiko Parks and Laurel Hill Coach Kent Zessin agree their teams have some work to do.
The Gators won Tuesday’s contest in straight sets 25-20, 25-16, 25-16 in a battle of reigning district champions.
“It was a good solid first win for us,” Parks said. “There are still some weak points in our game that we’ve got to correct. We are still learning each other.
“Defensively we were where we needed to be. We were in the spots we needed to be. We did a good job of communicating with one another what they were doing that translated over to what we were doing on our side of the net.”
Zessin saw the match with the Gators, who have appeared in three straight Final Fours, as a measuring stick of sorts.
“I like coming out and playing them earlier in the season,” he said. “Baker’s a good team to play to see where you are. Baker didn’t let anything hit the floor.
“I like some of the things we did, but our serving was horrendous tonight. You can’t miss 14 serves and expect to have a chance to beat Baker.”
The Hoboes kept things competitive throughout the match and led 6-4 early in the second set after a point off a Bridget Zessin serve. But the Gators would were determined to open the season with the win and refused to stay down.
Baker went on an 8-2 run to turn the 2-point deficit into a four point lead. The Hoboes rallied again behind Rachel Welsh to tie the set at 12-12. But with Emily Stewart leading the way with a pair of service ace Baker pulled away to take control of the set and eventually the match.
Ashley Black led the Baker attack with 10 kills. Stewart and Kelsee McGraw each had five kills.
Stewart had six aces. Taylor Brunson dished out 14 assists. And Lena Daoud had 12 digs for Baker.
Welsh and Zessin topped the Hoboes with five kills each. Welch had six aces.