Mount Airy hosted a five-hour volleyball practice as teams gear up for the start of the season next week.
The Lady Bears held three scrimmages simultaneously throughout Friday afternoon: two side-by-side in the main gym and one in the old junior high gym next door.
The visiting teams were North Surry, Davie, Glenn, North Stokes and Wilkes Central.
Each school faced the other five opponents in a 25-minute contest. Rather than keep score, the teams simply played until the time expired, then swapped out for the JV teams, which played 20-minute periods.
Then the teams had 10 minutes to move to their next court and get warmed up before the cycle started again. By the end of five scrimmages, the varsity teams had spent more than two hours on the floor, and the JV teams an hour and 40 minutes.
To make the scrimmages feel like real games, Mount Airy brought in referees to make calls. On a couple of occasions, the refs paused the action to explain rules to players so they would know better when the season starts.
The Bears were a little short-handed Friday. Skyler Flippen was on vacation, freshman Madeline Mayfield was out with a knee injury, Autumn Mason was out with a concussion and Lily Smith was slowed by a knee brace.
The Bears open the season Monday by traveling to Surry Central, then head to Elkin on Thursday before hosting a tri-match next Saturday.
The Hounds kick off the season by hosting Watauga on Tuesday.
East Surry goes to Elkin on Monday, then hosts Alleghany on Tuesday.