Sophomore Jessica Smith (#1) keeps her eye on the ball that was set by Karson Kays (center) as Frankie Hayes (left) looks on during the CWC-Mt. Carmel volleyball match on Monday, August 26, at McDougal-Evers Gymnasium. The Lady Bulldogs won the contest 25-12, 25-21. 

The Carmi-White County volleyball team opened their 2019 campaign with two important wins over the past week, defeating Mt. Carmel at home and going on the road to beat Edwards County. 

CWC def. Mt. Carmel 25-12, 25-21 (Mon., Aug. 26)

The season home-opener did not lack in spirit, as you could feel the energy throughout McDougal-Evers Gymnasium, especially when the Lady Bulldogs jumped out to a 17-6 advantage in the first set. Although Mt. Carmel settled in after a break in the action, CWC traded points-for-points until they had secured a first-set victory.

The visiting Lady Aces grounded themselves to begin the second set. Solid serving and hitting put Mt. Carmel out in front 9-4. After a maroon and white timeout, the Lady Canines rallied back to notch the score 17-17. CWC continued to push through, especially from the service line, to go on an 8-4 rally to record their first win of the year.

“We were pumped up for our first game,” said CWC skipper Penny Gunter. “This is one of the scrappiest teams I have ever coached.”

Karson Kays and Luci Stubblefield paced CWC from the service line with seven points. Mariah VanMatre had team-highs in both kills (five) and blocks (five). Kays handed out five assists, while Sydney Lucas led the defense with ten digs.

In junior varsity action, the Lady Bulldogs fell 22-25, 25-23, 15-13. Greyson Huff had eight service points. Jessica Smith recorded 11 kills, with Emma Frashier having a team-high three assists. 

CWC def. Edwards Co. 25-17, 20-25, 25-18 (Tue., Aug. 27)

At Linda Oxby Gymnasium in Albion, CWC (2-0, 1-0 BDCE) needed a complete team performance to pick up not only their second win of the season, but their first victory in Black Diamond Conference East play.

The team was without Kays, who is the regular setter in the rotation. Regardless, the remainder of the squad picked up the load and played the contest with very few miscues.

“We only had five bad hits, and only missed three serves,” said Gunter. “We played a very clean match and were able to make them (Edwards County) pay for their mistakes.”

VanMatre (ace) led the Lady Canines at the service line with nine points, as well as at the net with seven blocks. Lucas had a team-high eight kills. Frankie Hayes provided nine assists, while Marley Mallow produced 11 digs defensively.

Jalyza Estapia’s eight service points, two kills, and seven digs helped lead Chris Lucas’s JV squad to their first win of the season by the score of 25-20, 26-24. 

CWC rallied back from a 23-17 deficit in the second set to notch the win.