Mount Airy volleyball is for real.
The Lady Bears went into Thursday’s match with a 3-0 record, but questions still remained, like, “Yeah, but have they played anybody?”
The Bears beat rival North Surry in straight sets on their home court.
“This was a really big team effort,” said coach Chuck Morris. “The kids played with a lot of heart. I couldn’t be more proud of them and their effort. … This was our best defense so far this season.”
In the first set, the Bears jumped out to a 6-2 lead, but some booming serves from North’s Maggie Hawks tied the game at 6-all.
The set was tied again at 11-all when the Bears put together a 10-0 run behind Sarah Lankford’s serve.
The two teams played evenly after that, but the run led to a 25-15 win for the Bears.
The Lady Greyhounds scored the first two points of the second set and built a modest 13-8 lead.
The lead was still five points at 17-12 when Mount Airy began clawing back. The Bears scored seven of the next 10 points to close to 20-19, drawing a timeout from North’s Shane Slate.
The Hounds scored the next three points, drawing a timeout from Morris.
The Bears got a kill, then middle hitter Abby Harold made an emphatic stuff block to make it 23-22, which got the home crowd fired up.
The teams battled back and forth over the next few points before Mount Airy’s Sadie Brooks finished the set with a kill for a 27-25 win.
Between sets, senior Samantha Kovach addressed the crowd. She organized Kills for Epilepsy, an awareness event held in conjunction with the game. The Bears raised money through the sale of baked goods and T-shirts for the cause.
The teams were tied at 3-all when the Bears started pulling ahead. The Bears had eight straight points with Abby Harold at the service line, including a powerful spike from Megan Fleming that was reminiscent of some of the great Greyhound hitters like last year’s player of the year Taylor Hill.
The score was 17-7 when North sophomore Mikaela Johnson went down with an ankle injury.
Morris said he didn’t see the injury himself, but one of his players said Johnson’s foot was bent really far, but he hopes the injury isn’t severe.
The injury took some of the joy out of the moment, but the Bears understood what a momentous achievement it was to finish with a 25-11 third set.
Not only is this the first win over the Hounds in several years, but the Bears haven’t even won a single set in about seven years, noted Morris.
There was some discussion among coaches and parents after the match, and people thought it might have been 15 years since Mount Airy beat North Surry.
Shane lost some key pieces last year and is rebuilding, noted Morris. But, North Surry will bounce back.
“I don’t expect them to be anything but stronger the next time we meet,” he said.
The teams will meet again during the Rivals United event for cancer awareness on Oct. 10.
The Hounds travel to Wilkes Central next week, while Mount Airy hosts a Saturday trimatch with Elkin and West Stokes.
Reach Jeff at 415-4692 and on Twitter @SportsDudeJeff.