By Keeli Parkey
The Unicoi County High School varsity volleyball team ended last week with two consecutive victories over Three Rivers Conference opponents.
“This week was a good, positive one,” head coach LeAnn Lane said. “We had a couple of good practices to focus on techniques and skills that will drive our team to be more competitive; followed by two conference wins against Johnson County and Happy Valley.”
Playing at home on Friday, Sept. 2, the Lady Devils (4-10) earned an easy victory over the Lady Warriors in three games (25-7, 25-11, 25-5).
The junior varsity Lady Devils opened action on Friday with a victory of their own in two games (25-5, 25-10).
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Playing on the road in Mountain City, the junior varsity and varsity teams both defeated the Johnson County Lady Longhorns.
According to Lane, the junior varsity team won their match in two games (27-25, 25-13). Leading the junior varsity Lady Devils were Brooklyn Jones and Stephanie Wisse with 8 and 6 kills, respectively. Contributing four kills each in the victory were Kaitlin Bailey, Kenedy King and Sarah Grace Larkey.
“In the varsity match, it took four games to put the Longhorns away,” Lane said. “The first two games were a cinch, winning 25-18, 25-16, but the Longhorns rallied and took the third game 25-21.”
The varsity Lady Devils then bounced back to win the fourth game and the match.
“Behind Keelie Hall, Savannah Lafever and Rachel Lynch, who led the match in aces with 5 each, the Longhorns were no match and lost 13-25 to your Blue Devils.”
Lane also said that Brooklynn Jones and Katelyn Bennett “took control of the net” against Johnson County. Jones had 13 kills, while Bennett had 9.
Defensively, Jessica McConnell and Chloe Powers had “notable contributions,” Lane also said.
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Conference rival Elizabethton came to UCHS on Tuesday, Aug. 30, and left with a victory over the varsity Lady Devils in three games (25-14, 26-24, 25-12).
Hall led her team with 9 kills and 4 digs against the Lady Cyclones. McConnell and Savannah LaFever had 4 digs each, while Blake Hall – Keelie’s younger sister – and Lynch dished out 8 and 7 assists, respectively, according to Lane.
Action against Elizabethton started on a high note for UCHS with the freshmen Lady Devils defeating the Lady Cyclones in two games (25-16, 25-8).
Karrie Clayton had 9 service points in this match. B. Hall added 6 service points, while Ashton Vance added 5. Bailey had 5 kills.
“Stellar play by Hallee Casey, Gabby Davis and Taylor Sailors also contributed to the team’s win,” Lane said.
The junior varsity Lady Devils also defeated the Lady Cyclones in two games (25-21, 25-17).
Larkey had 9 service points and assists to lead the team. Emma Kelly also had a solid serving night with 9 points of her own.
Jones contributed 8 kills and 5 service aces. Bailey was error less at the net during the match and had 3 kills.
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The Lady Devils hosted Providence on Tuesday, Sept. 6, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
They are scheduled to host Sullivan South in a Three Rivers Conference match on Thursday, Sept. 8. The freshmen team will open play at 4:30 p.m. with junior varsity and varsity matches to follow.
The Lady Devils are also scheduled to travel to Daniel Boone on Monday, Sept. 12. Freshmen will open play against the Lady Trailblazers at 4 p.m.
“Our focus this week is mostly on the front line, putting the ball away while also managing our swings and not creating as many hitting errors,” Lane said.