Mount Airy and East Surry have both had ups-and-downs in their short volleyball seasons. Both programs were, however, able to start conference play with wins to propel them in the right direction.
Mount Airy (6-5, 2-0) hosted Winston-Salem Prep for a double header on Tuesday. The Phoenix (0-2, 0-2) opened the season against the Lady Bears and struggled in back-to-back losses.
Chuck Morris allowed his varsity players to start the first match and then slowly integrated younger players into the mix. This allowed Morris and the Bears a chance to experiment with new lineup possibilities due to the amount of injuries currently plaguing the team.
Three Bears, Avery Cox, Hanne Cooke, and Meredith Hensley, finished with an ace percentage of at least 40 percent in the first match. Mount Airy had 17 aces in the first three sets of the doubleheader. Hannah Williams led the Bears in attacking with 10 attempts, followed by Elizabeth Dorsett with nine, and Avery Cox and Cooke with six each. The varsity team posted set wins of 25-7, 25-11, and 25-7.
Morris gave the JV team a chance to shine after the first 3-0 victory. Stats were not kept for the second game of the twinbill, but the Lady Bears did emerge with another 3-0 victory. They posted set wins of 25-3, 25-21, and 25-20.
East Surry (7-3, 1-0) began conference play by traveling to South Stokes. South (11-3, 0-1) was on a six-match winning streak before facing the Cardinals.
East took a 1-0 lead after winning 25-20, but the Sauras tied 1-1 by winning the second set by the same score. The Lady Cards proceeded to win sets three and four 25-18 to start conference competition on a strong note.
Three Cardinals finished with at least 25 attacks: Kylie Bruner, Morgan Smith, and Allie Bruner. Kylie led the team with 14 kills, followed by Allie Bruner, Smith, and Maggie Holt with eight each.
Holt and Emma Brown held down the front line with a combined eight blocks. Allie Bruner, Ally McCraw, and Jessica Clayton each had three service aces in the 3-1 victory.
The Lady Bears continue conference play tonight against South Stokes. East Surry will have its first home conference match when they host North Stokes tonight as well.
Reach Cory on Twitter @MrCoryLeeSmith