By Nathan Ham
It has been a strong start to the 2018 season for the varsity volleyball team at Watauga High School. The Lady Pioneers have won their first five matches and have lost just two sets so far this season.
Watauga took down Ashe County in their season opener on August 13 by a 3-0 score. Watauga won the first two sets by 25-6 scores and completed the sweep with a 25-15 win in the third set. Rebekah Farthing led the way with 12 kills, Carolyn Murray added six kills and Tegan Allan had four kills. Senior Grace Hayes finished the match with 26 assists. The team had 11 serving aces and made just five serving errors on 69 attempts.
Next up, the Lady Pioneers traveled to North Surry on August 16 and once again come away with a 3-0 win. The two teams battled hard in the first set, but Watauga was able to escape with a 25-23 win. Watauga cruised in the next two sets to 25-11 and 25-14 wins. Farthing had 18 kills, Murray finished with 10 kills and Allan added eight kills. Hayes finished with 32 assists in the match while Chloe Baldwin recorded 15 digs and Jasmine VanDyke had 10 digs.
On Saturday, August 18, Watauga took on Lake Norman and defending NCHSAA 3A State Champion North Iredell in a tri-match at Lake Norman High School. The Lady Pioneers swept Lake Norman, 3-0, and came away with a 3-1 win over North Iredell.
Against Lake Norman, Watauga tallied 40 total kills, led by Farthing with 17 and Brooke Byrd with 12. Hayes continued to set up the offense nicely with 32 assists. Baldwin chipped in 13 digs.
In the victory over North Iredell, Farthing was all over the floor with 25 kills, 14 digs and a pair of serving aces. Murray added 11 kills, Baldwin had 29 digs, Byrd finished with 11 digs and Hayes had a whopping 53 assists.
In Watauga’s most recent match, the girls earned a 3-1 victory over Statesville on Tuesday. Watauga took the first set, 25-14. Statesville bounced back to win the second set, 25-22. Watauga answered back with a 25-16 win in the third set and then clinched the match with a 25-22 win in the fourth set. Byrd and Farthing tallied 16 kills while Alan had 10 and Murray finished with six. Baldwin had 18 digs, Farthing had 17 and Hayes recorded 12 digs as well as a game-high 42 assists.
Watauga will look to stay undefeated with a home match against Fred T. Foard on Thursday. The Tigers are also unbeaten and will enter the match with a 4-0 record.