Robbinsville defeated Smoky Mountain 29-27, 25-9, 23-25, 18-25 in a non-conference volleyball match Sept. 16 at Robbinsville.
Two sets went to the wire, but the Lady Knights dominated the other two.
“When you play against a scrappy team, you’ve got to play every point like it’s the game point,” Coach Megan Dezarn said. “Every point has to generate energy. You can’t let a team like that generate momentum because it’s hard to come back against a team that gets everything up. We hurt ourselves with missed serves and not taking out some key players on their side as much as we needed to. Our passes were a little off as well.”
The Lady Mustangs led 16-11 in the first set after Carley Raleigh served two points, including an ace. Both teams missed two opportunities to serve for the set but failed to cash in, before Robbinsville came through on the third chance.
The Lady Knights scored the first seven points of set two and never looked back. Six consecutive points built the lead to 13-1, and a 4-0 run made it 20-6.
The Lady Mustangs took a 15-11 edge in the third set after Natalie Parris served four points. Melanie Hoyle had two kills in the spurt, and Charlee Haney put down one. Robbinsville went on a 10-1 run to lead 21-16. SM went back on top 23-21 as Caroline Cowan served six points, including an ace, and Hoyle and Faith Shuler both had a pair of kills. Shuler had a kill for the winning point.
The Lady Knights reeled off 10 straight points to lead 10-1 in the fourth set. Raleigh’s three points and Hoyle’s kill cut the gap to 10-5. The margin grew to 17-9 and 22-11 after a pair of 4-0 spurts. Cowan served four points and Shuler had three kills leaving the deficit 24-18 before a side out ended the match.
Cowan and Raleigh had 13 and 10 service points, respectively. Cowan was perfect in 21 serves. Also not missing a serve were Alexa Anderson (four) and Shuler (three). Natalie Parris served 91.7 percent, followed by Ella Gamble at 90 percent. Team serving was 89 percent.
The Lady Mustang JVs won 25-27, 26-24, 15-11.
“We showed some determination in the second set,” Coach Melissa Hill said. “We played timid early. It was a tough Monday road trip. We have to be ready to play from the beginning.”