Tied at two sets apiece, West and Brevard were locked in an early-season conference battle. The teams were headed to a fifth and decisive set.
The Lady Blue Devils posed some of the toughest competition of the year for the Lady Falcons, but teamwork proved to be the deciding factor as the Lady Falcons won, 15-4, in the final set.
“During the fifth set we really came together as a team proving that we really wanted to win when we were down,” senior middle hitter and blocker Sarah-Anne Vidak said. Even though we were tired, we really pulled through.”
Expectations run high for the volleyball team because of the team’s 40 year tradition of success. The team has not disappointed this season as they started the season ranked first in the state by MaxPreps. The team currently has a 14-0 overall record, 7-0 in the conference.
“It feels really good to be undefeated. It’s definitely rewarding with all the work we’ve put in,” senior Mary Catherine Ball said.
MaxPreps recently ranked the team 55th in the nation. Seniors Sierra Jones, Ball, Kasey West and Destynee Galloway competed on a national team that won a national title at a tournament in Indianapolis over the summer.
“Every team will challenge us, so we have to be ready for that. We’re going to get everyone’s best game, so we have to be in that mentality that we’re going to play to our best ability every game,” Assistant Coach Cathy Corliss said. “Our girls’ commitment is very high. They know that, and they commit to being successful.”
Leading the team in kill percentage is Ball at 48.6 percent. Leading in assists is Jones with a total of 385 assists on the season, an average of 10.1 assists per game.
The team, averages 11.7 kills per set with a hitting average of .205 percent.
“The good thing about the strength of our team is that we don’t have one person way ahead of the others. We’re good all the way around. We’re flexible in our positions and very versatile, which is what you need. That’s what makes this team really good,” Corliss said.
In conference play the Lady Falcons are dominating with an undefeated conference record with wins over North Henderson (3-0), Pisgah (3-0), Polk County (3-1), Tuscola (3-0), Franklin (3-0), East (3-0) and Smoky Mountain (3-0).
“I think we’re doing really well. I think we have things to work on. We’re focusing on a lot of things,” Corliss said. “Expectations are high for us. We’re a very successful program and a lot of people assume we’re going to get there and demands are high with this team.”
The volleyball program has been one of the most successful programs at West with five state titles and five state runner-up titles. Teams have been in playoff contention every year since the program was started in the 1970s. Since then, the team has only been coached by Jan Stanley and her daughter, Tiffany Lowrance.
Last fall, the Lady Falcons were knocked out of the state playoffs in the semifinal round by South Iredell, 1-3. The Lady Falcons have maintained focus through both conference and nonconference play this fall with a goal of making the championship game in November.
“We want to win conference and go undefeated, make it through the playoffs and win regional championship and district and then win state,” Corliss said.
By: Kole Thomas