Elkin volleyball falls to Starmount in MVAC showdown

By Kristian Russell - krussell@elkintribune.com
Karli Brown passes the ball for Starmount during the third set. - Kristian Russell | The Tribune
Caroline Cason tips the ball over the net for the Lady Elks. - Kristian Russell | The Tribune

BOONVILLE — For the final time in the 2018 regular season, the Elkin Lady Elks volleyball team took on its Mountain Valley Athletic Conference rival, the Starmount Rams. It was a packed house for the match-up, as both teams were looking for a vital conference win. Starmount came out strong in the first set and was able to hold off a resilient Elkin team to take a 3-1 win (25-14, 22-25, 25-20, 25-21).

Although Starmount took the win, Elkin was able to give the Rams a run for their money during all four sets. Elkin was able to take a 1-0 lead as Caroline Cason went up for a hit and slammed the ball down in an empty spot on Starmount’s side of the court. Cason didn’t stop there, as she put down another hit which caught the Rams off guard and gave Elkin a 2-0 lead.

Starmount was able to make its comeback with a kill by Kayla Vanhoy, which tied the game 2-2. After the tie, both teams put together a rally with Elkin putting down kills and taking the lead, then Starmount would put together a play to tie the set. With the first set tied 5-5, Starmount went on another rally, which saw them take a 12-5 lead over the Lady Elks.

The rally started with a kill by Karli Brown, then an ace by Vanhoy. Brown then had another kill from the left side, which was once again followed up with two aces by Vanhoy. With the score 12-5, Elkin broke the rally as Starmount missed a serve.

Although the rally was stopped, Starmount was able to keep the momentum as Maddie Norman slammed the ball down for a kill, which gave the home team a 13-6 lead. Abbey Johnson put down a tip that caught Elkin off guard, then Emma Freed had a kill from the right side.

The Lady Rams were able to see the first set out as Vanhoy, Johnson, Freed and Brown put down kills to give their team a 25-14 win over Elkin.

In the second set, the Lady Elks were able to step back and reevaluate what had went wrong in the first set. Elkin came out strong as Cason and Kathryn Jennings put down several hard hits for the Lady Elks. Elkin had an 11-6 lead over Starmount before the Lady Rams were able to tie the game 11-11. From there, both teams put together successful plays until Elkin was able to grasp the lead and not let go. The Lady Elks held on to take a 25-22 win and tie the match 1-1.

As the team switched sides and headed for the third set, Starmount came out with the tempo and was able to capture the win. Cambria Bowen was able to dig up hard hits by Cason, which resulted in a set from Johnson and a kill by Elizabeth Cartwright. The Rams were strong all over the court as each player put their body on the line to dig up a ball and make important plays. Starmount took a 2-1 lead with a 25-10 win in the third set.

The final set started off in Elkin’s favor, but ended with the home team taking the win. Cason once again showed her talent from the front row as she scored three of Elkin’s first six points. Cason was able to make the most of the sets she received, as she knocked down three kills for Elkin. Kathryn Jennings was able to put down a back-row kill for a 6-0 lead, while Catie Beth Brown had two aces. On the back row, Chloe Osborne had several digs for the Lady Elks which helped set up the play.

Elkin had a 6-0 lead over the Rams before the rally was broken. The Lady Rams put together plays and started slowly chipping away at Elkin’s lead. Starmount was able to tie the set 16-16, as Vanhoy knocked a big kill down the line. The kill gave Starmount the momentum it needed to take the lead from Elkin.

Vanhoy put down two kills in a row, then came up with a block along with Norman. Vanhoy didn’t stop there, as she put down another kill off of an Elkin block to give Starmount a 20-17 lead.

Starmount was able to see the set out as Johnson came up with a solo block, then Freed had a kill, which gave Starmount the 25-21 set win. The fourth set win gave the Lady Rams a 3-1 match win over Elkin.

With the win, Starmount moves to 11-7 overall and 6-3 in the MVAC. Elkin is now 5-7 overall and 5-4 in the MVAC.

Karli Brown passes the ball for Starmount during the third set.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_DSC_0510.jpgKarli Brown passes the ball for Starmount during the third set. Kristian Russell | The Tribune

Caroline Cason tips the ball over the net for the Lady Elks.
https://www.elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/web1_DSC_0517.jpgCaroline Cason tips the ball over the net for the Lady Elks. Kristian Russell | The Tribune

By Kristian Russell

krussell@elkintribune.com