By Carey Phillips
Smoky Mountain opened the Mountain Seven Conference portion of its volleyball season last Thursday with a 25-19, 25-15, 25-19 victory over Pisgah at the SM gym.
Greenlee Flynn put down 17 kills, and Chandler Jerome added 11. Mariella Sheppard handed out 32 assists to go with 13 digs. Isabelle Stephan also had 13 digs, and Olivia Rice recorded 12.
“We came out for the first time and led the pace and kept the pace,” Coach Melissa Hill said. “We were the ones that were controlling how quickly the game was running, and we didn’t let up for three straight sets.
“It’s very important to win the first game of the conference,” she added. “That puts you one game above somebody so now we just keep building on that.”
Jerome served five points, including three aces, while Abby Cook had a kill and Flynn a block as the Lady Mustangs (4-2, 1-0) took a 7-3 lead in the first set. The Sugar Bears made a late 4-0 run to come within 23-19 before the set ended on Stephan’s kill off of Sheppard’s serve.
Xaila Spencer had four points, including an ace, and Flynn recorded two kills for a 9-2 SM lead in the second set. Pisgah narrowed the deficit to 18-14 with seven unanswered points. The Lady Mustangs regained control and Flynn served the set’s final three points.
Jerome’s five points, including two aces, and -Flynn’s kill put SM up 7-1 in the third set. Pisgah fought back and came as close as 20-18. Spencer served the last two points with Suzannah Raynor having a kill.
Jerome led in service points with 13, and Spencer had 10. Flynn was perfect in 11 serves, and Spencer served 93.8 percent. Team serving was 83.8 percent.
Pisgah won the JV match 25-18, 21-25, 15-4 dropping SM to 2-4.
“The score doesn’t show how well we played,” Coach Gabby Nelson said. “We really came together as a team. We were passing really good on serve receive balls and getting some good block touches and hits. I’m really proud of them. Even though it was a loss, they played well.”
She said Keelie Patten and Kaylie Parris both played well with several hits and block touches.