By Carey Phillips
Fourth-seeded East Henderson held off fifth-seeded Smoky Mountain 23-25, 25-20, 25-23, 24-26, 15-8 in the first round of the Mountain Six Conference Volleyball Tournament on Oct. 16 at East.
The Lady Mustangs (7-16) will not know until sometime today (Thursday) whether they qualify for the state 2-A playoffs.
“We had too many errors,” Coach Megan Dezarn said. “When all the sets are close, you can’t have unforced errors like missed serves, hitting the ball out of bounds, being in the net or letting balls drop. It came down to they made fewer errors than we did.”
The Lady Eagles took a 7-4 lead with a 4-0 run in the first set. Carley Raleigh’s three points, including two aces, gave SM a 14-13 edge. Things stayed close with Raleigh serving the final two points, including an ace. The set ended on Charlee Haney’s kill.
East opened the second set with three points, but Lindsey Stack served three, including an ace, putting SM up 4-3. Ella Gamble had a kill, and Melanie Hoyle added a block in the spurt. The Lady Mustangs led 10-8 after Alexa Anderson served three points, including an ace. Four straight points gave the Lady Eagles a 17-15 lead, and they went on to even the match.
The Lady Mustangs gradually built an 18-14 lead in the third set. East tied it with four consecutive points then moved in front 23-21 with another 4-0 run before winning the set.
The Lady Eagles led 4-1 and 11-6 in the fourth set after a pair of 4-0 runs. Gamble served four points, and Raleigh had a kill putting SM on top 22-21. Raleigh served the clinching point on the team’s third attempt.
East took control of the fifth set with six unanswered point to lead 12-6 and went on to the win.
Stack and Raleigh had 12 and 11 points, respectively, and they both served 95.5 percent. Gamble was perfect in 15 serves. Team serving was 90.3 percent.