By Keeli Parkey
The busy schedule continued last week for the Unicoi County High School Lady Devil volleyball team.
The junior varsity squad capped off the week earning the Silver Bracket title in the Science Hill Thrill on the Hill Tournament on Saturday, Aug. 27, head coach LeAnn Lane reported to The Erwin Record.
In pool play on Saturday, the Lady Devil junior varsity lost its first match to Sullivan Central (19-25, 25-16, 7-15). They then bounced back with victories over North Greene (20-25, 25-17, 15-4) and Clinton (25-9, 21-25, 15-7) before losing in the last pool play match to Dobyns-Bennett (23-25, 14-25).
Following pool play, the Lady Devils, who were the eighth seed, faced fifth-seeded Sullivan Central in the tournament portion of the event and came away with a victory in three sets (20-25, 27-25, 16-14).
The next round saw the Lady Devils win over sixth-seeded Johnson County in two sets (7-25, 16-25) to take fifth place out of 12 junior varsity teams and win the Silver Division.
“The last two weeks have been a great learning experience for all of our teams,” Lane said. “Both weeks have been full of matches that have allowed us to see what we are doing well and what is left to work on. We’ve played five and four days each of the weeks, respectively, and even though we are tired, we pushed through several key moments this weekend as a JV team and pulled out a Silver Division Championship, finally defeating Central after playing them for the third time this week.”
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Thursday, Aug. 25, saw the Lady Devils travel to Sullivan North for freshman, junior varsity and varsity matches.
The freshmen defeated the Lady Golden Raiders in two sets (25-14, 25-6).
“Blake Hall and Kaitlin Bailey led all servers with 12 points apiece, while Taylor Sailors and Ashton Vance chipped in 5 and 4, respectively,” Lane said. “Outstanding plays by Hallee Casey, Gabby Davis and Karrie Clayton were also notable.”
The junior varsity squad followed suit with a two-set victory over their own (25-10, 25-11).
“In the JV match, it was Sarah Grace Larkey who ignited the fire for the team with a 6-0 service start in the first game,” Lane added. “Larkey finished the match with a total of 16 service points. Chloe Powers added 5 of her own, while Kenedy King chipped in 3.”
The varsity Lady Devils (2-9) couldn’t complete the sweep as they fell to North in three sets (11-25, 17-25, 22-25).
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A trip to Sullivan Central on Wednesday, Aug. 24, wasn’t kind to any of the Lady Devil teams.
According to Lane, the freshman, junior varsity and varsity squads lost to the Lady Cougars. The scores were: 21-25, 25-19, 7-15 in the freshman match; 17-25, 21-25 in the junior varsity match; and 15-25, 16-25, 22-25 in the varsity match.
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A trip to Sullivan East on Tuesday, Aug. 23, was also unkind to all the Lady Devil teams.
The freshman lost in three sets (25-16, 15-25, 15-10); the junior varsity lost in three sets (26-28, 25-23, 10-15); and the varsity lost in three sets (25-27, 17-25, 10-25).
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The Lady Devils faced Elizabethton on Tuesday, Aug. 30, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
They are scheduled to travel to Johnson County on Thursday, Sept. 1, and to Happy Valley on Friday, Sept. 2. The freshman team is scheduled to begin each match day at 4:30 p.m., with junior varsity and varsity matches to follow.
The Lady Devils are scheduled to host Providence on Tuesday, Sept. 6, in Erwin. The freshmen will open match play at 4 p.m. The Lady Devils will travel to Madison County on Tuesday, Sept. 7, and host Sullivan South on Wednesday, Sept. 8.
“In the coming weeks, we have several key conference games,” Lane said. “I hope that since we are off the next two weekends, we can recover and rest as we continue to work in practice to prepare us through the season.”