By Carey Phillips
Franklin defeated Smoky Mountain 25-16, 25-14, 18-25, 25-12 in a Mountain Seven Conference volleyball match last Thursday at Franklin.
“We had some great plays,” Coach Melissa Hill said. “We had great blocks and had some great defense at times, but we could never put all of it together and get it to work at the same time. Either our serve receive was good or our hits were good. We’ve got to get the entire game together and be more consistent. We also need to make certain that when we serve we are getting more points off of serves and not just off of side outs.”
The Lady Mustangs (3-5, 0-4) led 8-4 in the first set before the Lady Panthers scored five straight points for a 9-8 edge. Franklin took the lead for good at 14-10 with four consecutive points and finished the set on an 8-1 run.
The Lady Panthers took control of the second set with a 9-0 spurt for a 23-11 lead.
SM went up 7-5 in the third set as Olivia Rice served three points and Kennedy Stewman had a kill. Three more points from Rice along with Greenlee Flynn’s kill built the lead to 19-12. Rani Patel served the clinching point.
Franklin wasted no time taking charge in the fourth set as 10 consecutive points resulted in an 11-2 advantage and breezed to the win from there.
Flynn and Alexa Anderson both put down eight kills. Flynn had six total blocks, including four block assists, Bailey Cloer also had four block assists.
Stewman came up with 34 digs, followed by Anderson with 18 and Rice with 16.
Anderson and Mariella Sheppard totaled 13 and 11 assists, respectively.
Stewman had eight service points and served 94.1 percent. Rice served 92.3 percent. Patel was perfect in three serves. Team serving was 84.1 percent.
Franklin won the JV match 25-15, 25-13 dropping the Lady Mustangs to 2-6.
“We stated off really strong, playing as a team and getting some good solid hits and block touches,” Coach Gabby Nelson said. “Throughout that first set our serve receive started sending balls right over to the other team that they could put right back at us. I was real happy that the girls were able to get some block touches because that’s something we’ve not been able to do yet. That shows they are progressing really well.”
She said Abby Cook and Suzannah Raynor both got touches on blocks.