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  • Travis Dockery

Hayesville volleyball ends regular season on high notes

On Thursday, Oct. 13, the Lady Yellow Jacket volleyball program ended their regular season with home matches against Smoky Mountain Conference foe Andrews. It was a busy night with three matches, cancer awareness night and senior recognition. Jacket Nation left The Hive happy, thanks to three victories.

First on the list of events for the evening was showdown between Hayesville Middle School and the Lady Wildcats from Andrews Middle. The Lady Jackets beat Andrews earlier in the season, but the Lady Wildcats didn't come to Hayesville expecting to lose. The Lady Jackets pulled ahead early, but Andrews kept fighting. Eventually, Hayesville was able to find their groove and not only win set one, but finished off the match with a set-two victory.

"It's sad to see the season end," said coach Laurie Shook. "The girls have really worked hard and have improved throughout the season. We ended up second in the conference which shows how hard the girls worked this year."

Coach Laurie Shook coaches up her team before the start of the second set.

Next up was the match between the JV squads. The Lady Jackets came into the contest looking to complete an undefeated SMC season and Andrews was looking to spoil that accomplishment.

In the opening set, Hayesville came out doing what they have done all season long, building up a lead. Andrews was able to get points here and there, but the end was never in doubt as the Lady Jackets got of on the right foot with a 25-14 win.

The early going in the second set did not go as planned for Hayesville. Mistakes and miscommunications led to Andrews capitalizing to build an 8-3 lead. Just when Hayesville fans started to get nervous, the Lady Jackets took over. Hayesville went on a 22-3 run to get the 25-11 win and finish off their undefeated run through the conference.

Final numbers for the JV team include a 10-0 conference record, a 16-3 overall record, just one set loss in the conference and one conference championship.

The JV Smoky Mountain Conference Champions: From left, Brooke Daniels, Skylar Lockaby, Felicia Falk, Ava Shook, Raylyn Taylor, Ella Matheson, Bryleigh Krieger, Olivia Giddens, Kayla Brown, Lilly Dockery and Madison Graves.

It was then time to honor the senior volleyball players. Click here to see senior honors.

After the celebration, it was time for varsity volleyball. The varsity Lady Jackets kept the good vibes going early on with a convincing win in the opening set by the final of 25-10. Between sets, Andrews' coaching staff challenged their team to step up and fight.

That motivational speech landed and the Lady Wildcats responded. Hayesville couldn't rely on cruise control as they found themselves under attack in the second set. Andrews made a run all the way to the 20-point mark, but the Lady Jackets were able to end the frame with a 25-20 win.

Down 2-0 after giving it their best, the wind left the Lady Wildcats' sail and Hayesville dominated the third set. The Lady Jackets stood on the gas and muscled their way to a 23-7 set win to send Jacket Nation home happy.

The varsity Lady Jackets ended the season fourth with a conference record of 4-6 and 12-9 overall.

Coach Tammy Dills gives her team a few last minute instructions before taking on Andrews.

Both HHS teams will now compete in the Smoky Mountain Conference tournaments. As the conference champs, the JV Lady Jackets have a bye in round one and will face the winner of Cherokee vs Robbinsville at 12 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 15 at noon.

As for the varsity team, Hayesville will take on Swain County Monday, Oct. 17.

The tournaments are hosted by Swain County High School this year.

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