By Keeli Parkey
The Unicoi County High School volleyball team (2-4, 1-2) dropped two matches last week.
First, they lost to Asheville Christian Academy on Tuesday, Aug. 22, in Erwin. The North Carolina team bested the Lady Devils in three games (Lost 14-25, 12-25, 11-25).
“Asheville Christian Academy was definitely the best competition we have seen thus far,” head coach LeAnn Lane told The Erwin Record.
Notable stats for UCHS against Asheville Christian Academy include: 4 kills and 7 digs by Katelyn Bennett; 3 kills and 4 digs by Emma Kelly; 3 kills and 3 digs by Sarah Grace Larkey; 9 digs by Chloe Powers; and 6 assists by Blake Hall.
• • •
Lane previously told The Erwin Record that a goal for her team this season is to post a 6-6 record in conference play, if not better.
UCHS now plays in a District 1 of Class AA against Chuckey-Doak, Elizabethton, Johnson County, Sullivan Central, Sullivan East and Sullivan South. The Lady Devils have earned a win over Johnson County, but fell to Elizabethton in conference play this season.
“Our goal is to take at least one match from Central, Elizabethton, East and South,” Lane said before the season starts. “We would like to see a top-3 finish this season.”
Attaining the goal of a top-3 finish became a little more difficult for the Lady Devils last week when they fell to Chuckey-Doak in four games (16-25, 23-25, 25-16, 21-25) on the road in Afton.
“Of course, the loss to Chuckey-Doak is disappointing,” Lane said. “We needed that ‘W’ this week to stay towards our goal of 6-6 in the conference.”
The Lady Devils are still figuring things out on the court, according to their head coach.
“Our challenge this year is learning how to win,” Lane said. “We have moments where we show how great of a team we are and how far we have grown, but we become complacent with just playing well and hanging with the competition. We have a hard time with inner drive to actually rise to the occasion and beat that competition. I’m hoping that soon we have a breakout game where we win an upset in the conference – that is when we will feel what winning feels like and, hopefully, stay on track for our goal this year of a top-3 finish.”
Larkey led the Lady Devils at the net with 11 kills against Chuckey-Doak. Other notable stats included: 15 assists by Hall; 6 assists and 8 digs by Rachel Lynch; 19 digs by Powers; 5 kills and 3 digs by Bennett; and 4 kills and 4 digs by Emily Lamie.
The Lady Devils hosted Cherokee on Monday, Aug. 28, and conference foe Sullivan East on Tuesday, Aug. 29, after The Erwin Record’s press deadline.
They are scheduled to play a conference game at Sullivan South on Thursday, Aug. 31, with the junior varsity opening play at 4:30 p.m. They will go on the road to Sullivan Central on Tuesday, Sept. 5; the junior varsity will also begin play that day at 4:30 p.m.