ELKIN — The Lady Elks hosted the Granite Bears in a four-set match on Monday night. The final score from the battle on the volleyball court doesn’t reflect the grit with which both teams played. Both teams made impressive come-from-behind wins, and gave everything they had on the court. The Granite Bears came away with a 3-1 win, but the Lady Elks have nothing to be ashamed of in their loss.
Coming into Monday night’s match, Elkin held a 1-2 record while Mount Airy had a 3-4 record. The first set went Mount Airy’s way, 25-23, and the set staged the tone for the rest of the night.
Catie Beth Brown started things off on the right foot for the Lady Elks in the first set as she recorded a tip to give Elkin a 1-0 lead. After a back-and-forth affair that saw four ties, Elkin was able to take a 6-3 lead after several Mount Airy mistakes. Elkin kept things going with a kill by Savannah Abbey, which was followed by a kill by Kathryn Jennings. With a 9-3 lead, the Lady Elks were sitting pretty until Mount Airy started to make its comeback.
Avery Cox stopped Elkin’s scoring streak with a kill to make the score 9-5. Cox’s kill opened up the Bears’ scoring opportunities as Madeline Mayfield earned an ace, and Cox earned another kill. Mount Airy started the uphill climb to regain its footing against the Lady Elks. Cox earned another kill and an ace to make the score 12-10 in Elkin’s favor.
Just as it looked like the Granite Bears had the winning momentum, mistakes cost the Bears several points. The Lady Elks started to regain control as Brown earned a kill to make the score 16-10. It would be the last point Elkin would score in several volleys as Mount Airy started to make another comeback. Piper Draughon earned a kill, followed by two aces by Hannah Williams. Mount Airy took its first lead of the set 17-16. Madeline Mayfield earned a kill to lengthen Mount Airy’s lead to two points.
As the final points were looming, both teams began to play harder as they hustled after missed direct hits and sacrificed their bodies to make the dig on tips. On set point, Cox found the final point with a kill down the left side to give Mount Airy a 25-23 win in the first set.
The second set was another back-and-forth battle, but this time it was Elkin that pulled out the win. With kills from Jennings and Jessica Eldridge and hard hustles from Brown, the Lady Elks took a 26-24 win.
Mount Airy knew it would have to hustle to take the third set from the Lady Elks as the gym was rocking with anticipation. Both teams started the set off with mistakes as they were fighting for every ball. Brooke Lankford broke the ties with three aces, followed by a kill from Mayfield to give Mount Airy a 9-4 lead.
Brown found a tip for Elkin to make the score 10-5, but the Bears had something to prove as they didn’t let one point phase them. The Bears took a 20-11 lead over Elkin before finally putting the set away and taking a 25-17 win.
The fourth, and final, set went Mount Airy’s way as the Bears took a 25-20 win. Although the Bears took the win, the Lady Elks made several comebacks in the set. Just when it looked like the Bears were in the clear, Elkin would battle to get back into the set. Elkin tried to get over the final hump to send the match to the fifth set, but Mount Airy was able to finish the set with a win.
Cox led the Bears with 13 kills, followed by Mayfield with 10. Lankford served six aces, Arry Ward led with four blocks, and Kayla Hicks had 22 digs. Lankford had 21 assists and Cox contributed 15.