KING — Mount Airy jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but couldn’t bring home the volleyball victory against West Stokes, falling 3-2.
The Lady Wildcats came back to tie the match, then won the shorter fifth set 15-13.
The Lady Bears took the first set 25-22.
By the end of that game, the squad was clicking on all cylinders, said Coach Kim Lyons. That success continued into game two, and the Bears prevailed 25-20.
Things were going so well that the squad may have relaxed a bit going into the third set, and at the same time, the Wildcats were fired up and ready to fight back, she said.
West Stokes took the third set 25-19 and then the fourth 25-20 to force the final set.
West Stokes has a strong middle hitter and a good outside hitter, too, Lyons said. And their setter was phenomenal, moving around to make assists.
“It was definitely a defensive game,” the coach said. “I told them we don’t have to work miracles offensively, but we’ve got to be strong on defense.”
With the Bears showing good floor coverage, the match featured several long rallies.
In the end, what hurt weren’t the physical mistakes or a lack of talent, the coach noted. It was the mental errors like foot faults and touching the net.
“I liked our fight and our effort — we didn’t quit,” she said. Now the team understands that when it gets up like that, the girls have to hold and not let the opponent back in the match.
Junior Kathryn Beasley led the Bears in kills (17), digs (24) and blocks (five).
Dana Brown provided nine kills and 13 assists. Tessa Rodgers led the team with 24 assists.
Katie Hicks was second in blocks with three, while Charli Hiatt was second in digs with 16.
Hiatt also went 16-16 at the service line with one ace.
Taylor Dollyhigh was 17-18 with three aces and Jasmine Varney 15-15 with an ace.
Mount Airy has three home matches next week. It hosts North Stokes on Tuesday, Patrick County on Wednesday and Bishop McGuinness on Thursday.
Reach Jeff Linville at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 719-1920.