DOBSON —The Mount Airy volleyball team came into this season with a pair of known commodities at the net in Madeline Mayfield and Sadie Brooks.
On Monday night, Mount Airy showed they were more than just a 1-2 punch against Surry Central. Nine different Lady Bears recorded a kill as Mount Airy (3-0) swept Surry Central (1-3) with a 25-20, 25-20, 25-20 three-set victory.
“I think we really spread the ball around well tonight and they couldn’t key in on anyone in particular,” Mount Airy coach Chuck Morris said. “I wouldn’t say our offense was dynamic, but it was enough to make Surry Central consider a ton of different attacking options.”
The Lady Bears started the first set with a 4-1 lead and never looked back. Brooks was the star of the show in the opening frame, registering five of her game-high 13 kills.
There were times throughout the evening when Brooks looked a bit frustrated, but it wasn’t because of her offensive performance. Coach Morris is working on making Brooks a better defensive player and believes that despite some of the irritation, he was happy with how she played on Monday recording 13 digs and only four errors.
“Sadie has an opportunity to be a standout for us. The offense comes easy for her,” Morris said. “We just want her to take the next step defensively and become a six-position player for us. I think she’s slowly getting there.”
Mount Airy once again opened an early advantage in the second set, but the Lady Eagles fought back and made things very tight in the middle.
Surry Central coach Carrie Bruce called a timeout with her team trailing 9-4, and the Eagles responded with five straight points to tie the match off the serve of Ema Coe. Brooke Snow and Karson Norman each played their part in the comeback, combining for six kills in the set. Snow led Surry Central with eight kills in the match.
The set remained close as the teams exchanged points, but Megan Fleming took things over for Mount Airy with the score tied at 13-13. The Lady Bears went on a 5-1 run that included two kills and two aces from Fleming. That little separation was enough to propel Mount Airy to the 25-20 lead and give the Bears a commanding 2-0 lead in the match.
“It’s a big deal for us when Megan is on,” Coach Morris said. “She’s hitting with a better conscience right now. I think in the past she would just wail at the ball; now she’s hitting it a lot smarter.”
Another standout performer in the first two sets was senior setter Sarah Lankford, who recorded 19 assists and three kills on the evening. She’s still fighting her way up to speed from a knee injury and rested throughout the final set on Monday.
However, the Lady Bears didn’t miss a beat with backup setter Allie Sechrist stepping into the fold. Sechrist recorded six assists and a five-point run with Shelbey Taylor serving helped Mount Airy finish off the sweep.
One player Morris was really impressed with on Monday was libero Kayla Hicks. The Bears have shuffled Hicks around in the preseason and early going of 2016, but they seemed to have found a home for her in the center back position. Hicks recorded 12 digs and only two errors against the Golden Eagles.
Coach Bruce appreciated the performance of Coe and Grayce Goins on the defensive end. Coe led the Lady Eagles with 25 digs and wasn’t afraid to put her body on the line with some diving saves throughout the match. Bruce believes her team needs to work better together and improve their hitting game in order to improve.
Mount Airy gets a couple days off before returning to action against North Wilkes on Thursday. The Lady Bears scratched out a 3-2 victory over the Vikings when the teams met earlier this season.
Surry Central will step back on their home floor on Tuesday against West Wilkes.
Reach Jackson at 415-4702 and on twitter @jacksonfuller16