- Travis Dockery
Lady Jackets dominant against conference foe
The Hive was alive on Tuesday, Oct. 4 as the Hayesville volleyball program welcomed the Lady Maroon Devils from Swain County. Three matches were played and Hayesville came away with three wins without even suffering a set loss.
In the first action of the night, the Lady Jackets from Hayesville Middle School took to the court. Things got off to a strong start as Hayesville motored to a 25-16 win in the first set. The second set was all Lady Jackets as the squad cruised to a 25-9 set win and 2-0 match victory.
"It was a great win for us," said coach Laurie Shook. "We found out Monday that we were losing one of our starters for the remainder of the season so tonight we had girls playing in sports they aren't used to and they made it work."
Next up was a showdown between the top two JV teams in the Smoky Mountain Conference. The Lady Devils came into The Hive as the only SMC team to get a set win over Hayesville.
The Lady Jackets pulled ahead in the opening set, but Swain went on a 10-3 run to close the gap. Almost like a switch was flipped, Hayesville stopped the bleeding and looked like the top team in the conference as they secured the 25-19 set win.
Set two started off like the opening set with the Lady Jackets building a large lead. This time however, Hayesville never hiccupped and bumped, set and spiked their way to an impressive 25-9 victory to take the match win.
"We came in ready to accept an intense game due to Swain has been the only conference team to take us to a third set," said coach Tammy Dills. "We played hard the first set but made some mental errors. In game two we came out in domination style. We know everyone is gunning for us and our focus is to see the big picture and keep our team motivated and not complacent. I keep telling all my players regular season is just to know where you start in the SMC tournament and the tournament winner is who is remembered." Leaders vs Swain
Bryleigh Krieger: 2 kills, 2 aces, 5 digs
Olivia Giddens: 2 kills, 5 aces, 1 dig, 3 blocks
Ava Shook: 3 kills, 6 digs
Madison Graves: 2 kills, 5 digs
Skylar Lockaby: 2 aces, 2 digs
Raylyn Taylor: 3 aces, 9 assists, 2 digs
To finish the night, Hayesville's varsity team took their positions on the floor looking to complete the sweep. Set one saw both teams experience highlights and miscues in the early going. Thankfully, the Lady Jackets found their groove and rode the momentum wave to a 25-19 set win.
Set number two was a test for fans' hearts and nerves. Every time it seemed one team had taken control, the other squad would come fighting back. Fans cheered and groaned with each point and the foes battled beyond the traditional 25-point total thanks to the rule that states a team must win by 2. The back and forth continued until the Lady Jackets were able to score 2 in a row to take the set 28-26.
The third set was again competitive, but didn't have the same feel as the second set. While the Lady Devils stayed within striking distance, Hayesville kept their composure and took the 25-18 set win and the 3-0 match victory.
"We came out with intensity and made some huge net plays on their hard hitters. We had some key blocks in game one that helped control that game, Dills said." "In game two, Swain didn't give up but I was proud that neither did we. We took that motivation into game three and focused on doing the little things again. It was a good night for all three of our teams to sweep the Lady Maroon Devils."
(Stats will be added once they are official)
Next up for all three teams will be a home match Thursday, Oct. 6 against Cherokee. Things will get started at 4 p.m. with the middles school match.