Natalie Parris

Smoky Mountain seniors Natalie Parris (11) and Ella Gamble (8) go for a block in last week’s season-ending loss to Franklin in five sets.

By Carey Phillips

 

Brevard downed Smoky Mountain 25-20, 14-25, 25-22, 25-22 in Mountain Six Conference volleyball action Dec. 21 at Brevard.

The loss eliminated the Lady Mustangs from any chance of making the MSC tournament.

“We had our opportunities and should have capitalized on some things, but we were just inconsistent in our level of play,” Coach Megan Dezarn said. “We made some unforced errors, especially in the last set.”

The Lady Devils took a 5-1 lead with four straight points in the first set. SM came within 8-7 when Carley Raleigh served three points and Ella Gamble had a kill. Six missed serve in the set proved too much for the Lady Mustangs to overcome.

Raleigh’s three points and three kills by Gamble put SM up 8-5 in the second set. Natalie Parris served three points and Gamble had a kill making it 14-9. Gamble’s three points, including two aces, and Raleigh’s kill increased the margin to 18-10, and the Lady Mustangs cruised from there.

SM fell behind early in the third set but took a 6-5 lead when Kennedy Stewman served three points and Parris had a kill. The Lady Devils used a 4-0 spurt to go up 13-10. Parris countered with five points, including two aces, as SM regained the lead at 16-13. Melanie Hoyle had a block and a kill in the run, and Gamble added a kill. The Lady Devils reeled off six unanswered points to take the lead for good at 20-17.

The Lady Mustangs led 13-10 in the fourth set when Gamble served three points, including an ace, and Raleigh and Hoyle had kills. Things stayed close until Brevard scored four straight points to move in front for good at 21-18.

Hoyle and Raleigh both put down 16 kills. Raleigh also had 15 assists and 11 digs. Gamble totaled 24 assists and 11 digs. Stewman led in digs with 23.

Parris had 10 service points and served 93.8 percent. Stewman also finished at 93.8 percent, followed by Macy Wike at 91.7. Team serving was 84.4 percent.

Brevard won the JV match 25-21, 25-21.

“We came out really strong in the first set and took an eight-point lead,” Coach Melissa Hill said. “We let our momentum slow down and gave Brevard an opportunity to come back. In the game of volleyball, one team goes on a run and the next minute the other team can run off eight points.”