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Larkey: Players improved during season

The Unicoi County Middle School volleyball teams ended the 2014 season on Sept. 27 when both teams competed in their respective Middle 8 Conference tournaments. Both teams finished fourth on the year.
The UCMS varsity (7-7) won their first contest against Greeneville, then fell to Church Hill before defeating Greeneville again in the losers’ bracket. The varsity team then fell to Vance in the finale.
Sarah Grace Larkey and Brooklyn Jones received all-conference honors for varsity team.
“Coach Hubbard and I would like to thank our players for a great season,” head coach Tammy Larkey said. “Each player has worked hard to improve their volleyball skills. They have all improved by leaps and bounds and we have really enjoyed watching them grow as players. The future is bright for volleyball in Unicoi County and thank you to all of the parents and families that have supported our team.”
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UCMS finished the regular season with some vital play in Elizabethton.
T.A. Dugger hosted their eighth-grade appreciation night on Thursday, Sept. 25, but the UCMS Lady Devils (7-7) were unphased and were able to score a two-set sweep (25-11, 25-16) in varsity action.
“I thought we played very well tonight,” Larkey said. “The girls really covered the court well and communicated the way we needed them to.”
A combined effort from Madison Duncan and Brooklyn Jones at the service line allowed the Jr. Lady Devils to take a 5-1 lead in the second set. Duncan and Jones combined for 10 aces in the match.
However, the Lady Jr. Cyclones made things interesting, pulling within a point, 10-9, before the Lady Devils went on a tear to score the victory.
“It was an important win,” Larkey added. “They know how (TAD) plays and they’ll be used to it again when they meet each other at the high school level.”
Chloe Powers added a pair of aces in the match. Sarah Grace Larkey, Powers and Jones came away big in the kill category, Larkey also said.
In the junior varsity contest, TAD made the Lady Devils sweat, but coach Sara Hubbard saw her team win in a two-set sweep (25-15, 27-15).
On Sept. 22, UCMS dropped their games on Ross Robinson and won both against Vance on Tuesday, Sept. 23.