By Carey Phillips
Robbinsville handed Smoky Mountain its first loss of the volleyball season 25-20, 16-25, 25-12, 25-17 in non-conference action Aug. 23 at Robbinsville.
“We started way too slow in the first set,” Coach Melissa Hill said. “We stayed calm and regained the points that we had given to them. It took us too long to do that, but the recovery led us into a good second set when we played very well. In the third set we never got a string of points and never scored more than two in a row. We can’t do that. We’ve got to be more consistent with our serves. We did some good things and had some great blocks and good kills and digs. We’ve got to be consistent and play our game the entire time.”
The Lady Knights scored the first four points of the match and led 8-1 in the first set. The Lady Mustangs cut the gap to 11-9 as Macy Wike served three points and Alexa Anderson and Chandler Jerome both had kills. They tied it 13-13 as Anderson served two points. Robbinsville scored the next five points to lead 18-13 and regain control.
SM’s Olivia Rice served the first six points of the second set, with Greenlee Flynn putting down two kills and Kennedy Stewman having one. The Lady Knights made a brief 3-0 run to close within 17-16, but Stewman served the final seven points of the set.
Robbinsville broke the third set open with seven straight points to lead 14-5 and cruised to a win.
The fourth set was much the same as the Lady Knights led 3-0 and used 4-0 spurts to build margins of 14-7 and 22-13.
Flynn put down 13 kills, and Rice came up with 11 digs. Anderson and Mariella Sheppard handed out 14 and 13 assists, respectively.
Stewman led in service points with 13 and served 90 percent. Rice was perfect in 17 serves. Team serving was 85.5 percent.
Robbinsville won the JV match 25-22, 25-20.
“It was a tough loss,” Coach Gabby Nelson said. “We had a good comeback, really fighting for the ball and wanting every point and chipping away one point at a time. We just didn’t make it all the way back. I saw a lot of good things. Our hitting and serving have improved a lot, and we got a lot of good back row attacks out of Addison Holt.”
The teams were set to play here Sept. 20, but that game has been postponed. It’s not known if it will be rescheduled.
School at Robbinsville and all athletic programs have been shut down for two weeks due to COVID-19 issues. When they return to play, the Lady Knights will have conference matches to make up, which will keep them from coming here Sept. 20.