- Travis Dockery
Mixed results for Hayesville volleyball against rival
On Wednesday, Sept. 28, Hayesville volleyball teams headed to Cherokee County to face off with chief rival Murphy. As expected in rivalry match-ups, the gym was filled with fans and enthusiastic cheers.
Following a three-team sweep over Andrews the day before, the Hayesville Middle School Lady Jackets took to the floor looking to keep the winning ways going. The Lady Bulldogs brought the fight, but Hayesville was too strong. Coach Laurie Shook's and her team have worked hard to continue to improve throughout the season and are being rewarded with results. The 2-0 win was celebrated as the perfect way to start the evening.
Next up was the JV match. Hayesville players appeared to be playing tight, maybe concentrating on the rivalry a little too much. Head coach Tammy Dills encouraged her team to breathe, loosen up and "play their game."
After falling behind by 5, the Lady Jackets found their groove and came rallying back. Hayesville stayed on the gas and took the first set 25-21. In set two, Hayesville's set-one surge seemed to have taken the win from the Lady Bulldogs' sail and the black and Vegas gold brigade took the set 25-13 and the match 2-0. The win kept the team's Smoky Mountain Conference undefeated streak alive and improved their overall record to 12-3.
"That was a big win for us," said Dills after the match. "We just had to loosen up and play the game. Once that happened, team moral was sky high and it was a great team performance." Assistant coach Julie Ledford shared her thoughts through a smile saying, "It was a great come from behind win. We are proud of the fight the girls showed."
With two of Hayesville's teams celebrating wins, it was time for the varsity showdown. The Lady Jackets came out strong and seemed to catch Murphy off guard, bringing the fight to the Lady Bulldogs. Volleys felt like that lasted for minutes, building suspense for each point. The set was so even, the normal goal of 25 points wasn't enough as the win by 2 rule pushed the set beyond 25. Eventually, Hayesville was able to take the set with a 28-26 victory.
Set two was another back and forth contest that pushed beyond the 25-point mark once again. This time, it was the Lady Bulldogs who came away with the win by the score of 26-24. In the third set, the feeling of swimming upstream settled on Jacket Nation in the stands. The Lady Jackets stayed within striking distance, but were unable to grab sole possession of momentum. Murphy went on to get 25-19 win and a 2-1 match lead.
The fourth set felt like a replay of set three. Hayesville fell behind early on but the Lady Jackets kept clawing to stay close. Just when it felt like Hayesville was making headway, Murphy would put a string of points on the board. The set ended with Murphy winning 25-19 which gave them the match win.
All three teams will be in The Hive Tuesday, Oct.4 to take on the Maroon Devils of Swain County.