Bryson City – Tuesday the Lady Devils hosted Murphy in a Smoky Mountain Conference volleyball tilt. Both teams came into the match tied for 3rd in the standings with identical 3-3 conference marks. The match was every bit as equal as their standings as the two foes went toe to toe for 5 sets. Swain came away with a hard fought 3-2 win by the scores of 19-25, 17-25, 25-18, 27-25 and 15-6.
Swain was uncharacteristically flat for the first two sets, with Murphy taking both opening sets. But the Lady Devils came alive in the third and stormed back taking it to set the stage for an epic final two sets.
In the crucial fourth set the Lady Devils jumped out early, building leads of 6-1 and 10-4. Eventually the Lady Devils would push it to 20-15 and looked as though they were going to take the win, but Murphy fought back and on a 7-2 run tied the set at 22.
Swain faced elimination with the score 24-23 after a Murphy kill. Kinsley Hyatt blocked a Murphy kill attempt to tie the score again at 24. After a lengthy rally the Bulldogs would once again take the lead at 25-24, but a Kennedy Anthony kill once again tied the score at 25. Following another lengthy rally the Bulldogs had a hitting error to push Swain in front 26-25. Kennedy Anthony put the game away with a service ace to give Swain a hard fought 27-25 win.
That set the stage for a thrilling 5th set, where the two teams would play to 15 to decide the winner.
Murphy had first serve which Swain quickly broke when Addisyn Jenkins dug a spike from Murphy making a great pass to Kaley Parker who set Gracie Sutton for the kill. The two teams got to 2-1 with Murphy serving. The Lady Devils broke serve again this time with an Anthony pass to Parker who set Carley Teesateskie for a kill, giving Swain a 3-1 advantage.
With Faith Woodard serving the Lady Devils went on a run, reeling off 5 straight points. Woodard had 3 aces and Gracie Sutton added a kill for Swain. Murphy then cut the lead to 7-3, but that was as close as they could get. With Sutton serving Swain got a block from Teesateskie and Hyatt, then an ace from Sutton to push the score to 10-3.
Once again Murphy would cut into the lead, getting to within 4 at 10-6. Kennedy Anthony got Swain the serve back on an emphatic kill to move the score to 11-6. Anthony would add another kill off a great pass from Kaley Parker to move it to 11-6. An ace from Addisyn Jenkins followed by a kill from Kinsley Hyatt moved the Lady Devils to within one at 14-6. Swain would put the match away with a well executed wrap around kill from Kinsley Hyatt off the set from Kaley Parker.
With the win the Lady Devils move into sole possession of 3rd place in the SMC with 3 conference matches to go in the season.