The Lady Cardinals beat the Lady Bears 3-0 in a volleyball match that was much closer than the score.
Mount Airy played well in the early stages of each game, but East Surry made runs every time to get some breathing room.
In the first game, the Bears and Cards had eight ties up to a 16-all score. Then East scored three straight points, drawing a Mount Airy timeout.
The Cards kept the momentum going, finishing off the game with a 9-0 spurt behind the serving of Gabi Jessup for a 25-16 score.
In the second game, both teams traded some missed serves before finding their rhythm.
The teams were tied on every point from 1-all to 6-all. Then East Surry scored five straight for an 11-6 margin.
Mount Airy answered with three points of its own to make it 11-9.
From 12-10, the Cards went on a 10-1 run behind the serving of Kristel Hicinbothem and Cheyenne Kota. That made it 22-12, the Cards finished off a 25-15 set.
Down 2-0, the Bears came out aggressive to start the third game. They won the first four points.
However, when the Cards got the ball back, Hicinbothem again served the team to a run.
The Cards took an 11-5 lead before the Bears called a timeout.
East Surry has had success in several matches this season with Hicinbothem serving and Jessi Marion and Jesse Barr with her on the back line. That puts setter Sydney Mosley up front with hitters Kacie Markle and Gabi Jessup.
Markle led the Cards with 14 kills, while Hicinbothem added seven and Jessup five.
From 11-5, the Cards steadily built a 24-9 lead before winning 25-12.
East Coach Caleb Gilley didn’t call a single timeout in this match, and afterward he praised his team’s serving for setting the tone on every point.
The squad didn’t have that many aces, but the accuracy was very high, he noted.
“We only missed six serves total,” he said. Looking over his stat sheet he saw Jessup was a perfect 15/15 serving, Hicinbothem 20/22 with four aces, Markle was 12/13 and four aces, and Mosley 14/15 with one ace.
Gilley said he was very concerned about Kathryn Beasley’s powerful hitting, so efficient serving was necessary to keep the Bears from setting her up.
Bear Coach Chuck Morris said his team started off well in each game, “but then the wheels came off.”
He chastised the girls for not communicating enough during rallies.
Gilley was pleased with the way his team kept rallies going.
Jessi Marion had 12 digs, Mosley 11 digs, Kota seven, Jessup five, Barr and Hicinbothem four each, and Markle three.
The team struggled at times against North Stokes and was unable to get those runs to put the Lady Vikings away, said Gilley, so this was an improvement.
During the match, Gilley got on to his players for not challenging shots at the net hard enough. The Cards responded with some blocks.
Reserves Karli Fulp and Sydney Marion had two blocks each rotating onto the floor. Jessi Marion also had two blocks and Mosley one. Mosley also handed out 19 assists.
East Surry is home Tuesday with new conference opponent Atkins.
Mount Airy travels to rival North Surry on Tuesday.