Mount Airy volleyball coach Chuck Morris was concerned his team might come out a little flat in its opening match against Elkin on Saturday.
The Lady Bears had a huge win against North Surry on Thursday night, but Morris wanted his girls to follow up the victory with another solid performance.
The coach acknowledged Mount Airy didn’t play perfect against the Elks, but it got the job done in a 3-0 sweep.
“The kids are feeling really good about themselves right now, but we’re still trying to improve every time we step out there.” Morris said.
Despite the lopsided final score, two of the three sets were tight affairs. Elkin had plenty of chances to turn the game around, but the Granite Bears consistently came up with scoring runs and the big points.
The opening set was tied at 12 when Mount Airy took control. The Lady Bears scored seven straight points and held on from there with a 25-22 win.
Sarah Lankford scored the winning point on one of her trademark fake sets. It was mightily effective because of her threat as a setter. Lankford recorded 40 assists and seven kills in the match.
“This is her third year starting,” Morris said. “She sets the table for all of our hitters. Our objective is to get one-on-one’s on the outside, so it’s up to her to control the middle blocker and she does a terrific job.”
Set two was the most lopsided, with Mount Airy cruising to a 25-15 win. The Bears never trailed and another Lankford kill sealed it.
The third set was the closest contest and the biggest opportunity for the Elks to gain some momentum in the match. Mount Airy held a 16-11 lead when Elkin started its rally.
The Lady Elks scored nine of the next 10 points to gain an advantage. They also had a chance to seal the set with a 24-22 lead, but the Granite Bears executed down the stretch and scored the final four points to clinch the match with a 26-24 win.
Morris believes a big reason for Mount Airy’s success recently is its ability to avoid mistakes in the service game, and his squad only committed four service errors throughout its match against Elkin.
Madeline Mayfield led Mount Airy with 16 kills, but the Granite Bears attack at the net came from a variety of players. Sadie Brooks chipped in 10 kills and Megan Flemming posted six.
“We have a lot of depth and an arsenal of attackers, which is certainly a good thing to have,” Morris said.
Kayla Hicks was the anchor on the Mount Airy back line with 18 digs. She also provided two aces.
Jackson Fuller can be reached at 415-4702 and on Twitter @jacksonfuller16.