• Travis Dockery

Mission accomplished for JV Lady Jacket volleyball squad

JV Lady Jacket players and coaches celebrate their tournament win and memorable season. (Photo by Laurie Shook)

Hayesville's JV Lady Yellow Jacket volleyball team travelled to Bryson City on Wednesday, Oct. 19 to take on Murphy in the championship match of the Smoky Mountain Conference tournament.

For the Lady Jackets, not only was a tournament championship on the line, but also an undefeated SMC season. Things got off to a rocky start as Murphy grabbed an early lead in the opening set. Hayesville finally settled in and not only caught up to their rival, but surpassed Murphy to get the 25-10 set win.

If the start of the first set was rocky, set two was a gravel pit for the Lady Jackets. The Lady Bulldogs benefitted from Hayesville hits that went long, short and even in the gym rafters. After digging a hole, the Lady Jackets started climbing out but ran out of time and Murphy evened things up with a 25-19 set victory.

In the third and deciding set, the teams only needed to reach 15 points before their opponent to claim the championship. Even though they had lost the previous set, the Lady Jackets had built momentum and carried that over into the third. Hayesville was able to establish an early lead and with each point, Murphy's bark was slowly silenced. Off a return, Skylar Lockaby made the pass to Raylyn Taylor who then set up Ava Shook. Shook took to the air with a spike. Murphy was able to make contact with the ball, but not good enough to send the ball back across the net. The ball fell to the floor, ending the set, the match, the tournament and season. Jacket Nation cheered as the Lady Jackets rushed the floor in celebration.

(Watch the final point at the bottom of this page.)

"We brought the SWARM," said a celebrating coach Tammy Dills. "All of our players took on their roles with open arms. Whether it was front row, back row, going in to serve and even cheering from the bench, everything was done to perfection." Dills summarized the incredible season with, "The big picture we started painting back in the summer is now done."

Leaders vs Murphy

Olivia Giddens: 7 kills, 3 aces, 7 digs, 1 block

Ava Shook: 6 kills, 1 ace, 3 digs

Ella Matheson: 6 kills, 1 block

Bryleigh Krieger: 4 kills, 1 ace, 5 digs

Madison Graves: 2 kills, 2 aces, 7 digs

Raylyn Taylor: 17 assists, 2 aces, 1 digs

Skylar Lockaby: 2 aces, 2 digs

Lilly Dockery: 3 digs

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