The Eastern Greenbrier Knights volleyball teams kicked off their 2020 season last week. The Knights Varsity team played four matches and the JV team played three matches.
Monday the Knights opened their regular season on the road at Shady Springs Middle School. Shady Springs is arguably one of the best middle school volleyball programs in the state. The Knights volleyed well against Shady Springs, but in the end both teams fell in two sets with both JV losing (15-25, 10-25) and Varsity losing (5-25, 11-25). Leading the way for the Varsity Knights were Hailey Ervin and Karma Jacobs in passing. Leading the way for the JV Knights were Mackenna McClure and Norah Ambler with eight digs apiece, while Maddie Podsiadlik led in serving, including two aces.
On Tuesday the Varsity team was back in Raleigh County to take on Greater Beckley Christian. The Knights were able to pick up their first win of the season, taking the Crusaders in two sets (25-10, 25-15). Leading the way for the Varsity Knights were Haley Workman and Aundraya Simmons in kills, Hailey Ervin in assists. While Haley Workman and Haley Byars led in serving combining for 19 points, with Haley Byars firing seven aces over the net. Karma Jacobs led in digs.
Wednesday the Knights had their home opener against the Independence Patriots. The Varsity team had their “8th Grade Night” and honored the following eighth graders on the team: Haley Byars, Hailey Ervin, Jenna Groves, Karma Jacobs, Allyson Martin, Mollie Pack, Aundraya Simmons, Haley Workman, and Natalee Wellman. The Varsity Knights kept up their momentum from Tuesday night and beat Independence in a thrilling three set match. The match saw momentum swing back and forth throughout, with some great extended volleys from both teams. In the end the Knights were able to secure the win on their home court (25-13, 22-25, 25-14). Leading the way for the Varsity Knights were Haley Workman, Jenna Groves and Mollie Pack with kills. Assist leaders were Haley Byars and Natalee Wellman. Passing leaders were Haley Byars and Hailey Ervin. Serving leaders were Haley Byars and Mollie Pack. Allyson Martin started the second set with six straight points.
Wednesday also saw the JV Knights pick up their first win of the season against a quality Independence team. The Knights took the match in two sets (25-21, 25-14), led in assists and passing by Mackenna McClure with 4 and 9, respectfully, and Norah Ambler with 4 assists and 11 digs. Mackenna McClure led in kills with 6 and Nora Ambler with 4, while Maddie Podsiadlik had 2 kills and Trinity Perkins, Emily McClure, and Sydney Norman each had 1. Serving was led by Trinity Perkins. Noah Ambler led in aces with 4, while Mackenna McClure and Emily McClure each had 3.
The busy week completed on Thursday night with the Knights at home against a young Summers County team. Both Varsity and JV picked up a win against the Bobcats in two sets each (25-5, 25-7) (25-22, 25-7). Leading the way for the Varsity Knights was Mollie Pack, Natalee Wellman, and Haley Workman with kills. Assist leaders were Haley Workman and Hailey Ervin. Digs were led by Hailey Ervin and Haley Byars. Serving leaders were Hailey Ervin, with an impressive 8 aces, and Mollie Pack. Leading the way for the JV Knights wasMackenna McClure in kills, Norah Ambler in assists, and serving was a team effort with Mackenna McClure, Campbell Bundy, and Lyla Smith contributing 3 or more points apiece. Maddie Podsiadlik, Emily McClure, and Kate Lehman led in aces with 9 combined between the three. Campbell Bundy and Sydney Norman led the team in passing.
The Knights coaching staff was pleased with their teams start to the season. They finished out the busy week with the following records: Varsity (3-1) and JV (2-1).
The coming week finds the Knights on the road again taking on Park Middle School (one of the feeder schools of Woodrow Wilson High School) and Summers Middle School.
In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, many new health and safety precautions have been implemented for this season. Players and coaches are required to wear masks at practice, whenever social distancing is not practical. In addition, masks are worn by spectators, coaches, and officials throughout the matches and spectators are limited to immediate household family members and grandparents.