The Mount Airy volleyball team didn’t pass Chuck Morris’ eye test in a Monday match against Starmount, but the Lady Bears were still good enough to stay undefeated this season with a 3-1 victory over the Lady Rams.
Mount Airy (5-0) got off to a tremendous start with a 25-16 win in set one and a 25-21 win in set two, but a combination of Starmount’s fight and a different Lady Bear mindset gave the Rams (1-3) some life to avoid the sweep.
“We played really well in the first set and reasonably well in the second set,” said Morris, the Mount Airy coach. “But the chemistry just fell apart in the third set, and we barely pulled it together in the fourth.”
Starmount earned a 25-19 win in the third set and opened the fourth frame with a 7-1 lead. That advantage blossomed to 11-4 before Mount Airy made a decisive run to clinch the match.
“We came back thanks to the kids that have been carrying us so far this season. They all stepped up and got us back to playing the kind of volleyball that we expect,” Morris said.
Sarah Lankford had four aces in the final set and sparked a big run on her serve to get Mount Airy within striking distance. Sadie Brooks and Madeline Mayfield each had three kills while Arry Ward recorded two as the Lady Bears finished things off with a 25-23 win in the fourth set.
Brooks led Mount Airy on the evening with 12 kills. Mayfield registered 10, Ward finished with nine and Megan Fleming chipped in six to lead Mount Airy. Lankford provided 28 assists from her setter position and Kayla Hicks continued her impressive defense with 25 digs on Monday.
The Bears will have to turn the page rather quickly with a huge non-conference match on the horizon. Mount Airy will travel to face North Surry on Tuesday night in the Lady Bears’ stiffest test so far in 2016.
“We just have to put this one behind us,” Morris said. “I don’t think either coach really thinks their team played pretty tonight. We had quality stats, but sometimes the eye test is a little different, and we will need to come out and play better tomorrow otherwise we could come home early.”