The Transylvania Times -

Lady Blue Devils Defeat Mustangs To Cap Off Wild Week - Brevard, NC


September 25, 2017

Jeremiah Reed

Ashton Pogue skies for a kill attempt in the second set of Wednesday's match. The senior had a big night on offense for Brevard.

From heartbreak, to disappointment, to jubilation.

The Brevard Lady Blue Devils experienced quite the rollercoaster over three days last week, but finished strong at home as they held off Smoky Mountain in a five-set thriller to move to 2-1 in conference play.

The ride began Tuesday on the road at Franklin.

After beating the Panthers 25-22 in set one, Brevard lost set two by the same score.

Franklin rallied to take set three 25-18 before the Lady Blue Devils stormed back to win set four 25-11.

But in set five, Franklin pulled away to close out the match by a score of 15-5.

The following night, Brevard returned home to host Polk County.

The Lady Blue Devils sputtered out of the gate and never got going in set one as the Wolverines rolled to a 25-9 win.

However, Brevard came alive in set two and put together a much better showing, battling Polk point for point.

The Wolverines ultimately went on to win set two 25-18 and took set three – which was equally competitive – by the final of 25-20 to take to the match.

That set up Thursday's denouement against the Mustangs.

Once again, Brevard got off to a slow start as Smoky jumped out to an 8-4 lead in set one.

The Lady Blue Devils climbed back into the match as a kill from Maddie Hall cut the score to 11-10, but Smoky responded with a 9-1 run to build a 20-11 lead.

The Mustangs looked to have a comfortable lead minutes later at 24-17, but Brevard rattled off six straight points to close the gap.

However, the rally came up just short as Smoky took set one 25-23.

While Brevard started slow in set one, they came out on fire in set two, rushing out to a 6-1 lead.

The Lady Blue Devils kept at it as a kill from Ashton Pogue made it 11-5.

That momentum carried throughout the set as Kaitlyn Pressley recorded a kill to increase Brevard's lead to 19-10.

Kills from Brooklyn Rising and Madison Baldridge closed out the set 25-11 and tied the match.

In set three, Brevard trailed early, but kept things close until they put together a 6-1 run to take a 13-10 lead.

Baldridge came up with a pair of kills to extend the lead to 15-11 before Brooklyn Rising scored a kill to make it 17-11.

Smoky fought back later in the set to cut Brevard's lead to 22-21, but Pogue came up with three straight kills to close out the set and give Brevard a 2-1 lead.

Unfortunately, that momentum didn't carry over into set four, as Smoky rushed out to a 7-2 lead.

The Mustangs maintained a comfortable advantage throughout the set, with Brevard never getting closer than five points.

Smoky closed out the set 25-14, forcing a deciding fifth set.

As the gym filled with tension, the two sides went back and forth early on.

The teams fought to tie scores of 1-1, 2-2, 4-4, and 7-7.

With Brevard holding an 8-7 lead, Pogue came up with a kill to make it 9-7.

Smoky cut the deficit in half, but kills from Pogue and Baldridge gave the Lady Blue Devils an 11-8 advantage.

The Mustangs cut the lead to 12-10, but Baldridge scored two huge kills to move Brevard to match point.

Moments later, Brevard closed out the match 15-10 and it was time to celebrate.

For a team that has progressed over the course of the season and suffered some tough losses, a big win in front of the home crowd was huge for the Lady Blue Devils.

"I think we really needed this win tonight," said Head Coach Cori Bryson after the match. "We lost a heartbreaker to Franklin, so tonight was huge. A 2-1 start in conference is where we need to be. I'm just really proud of them for coming back and it shows what kind of team we can be when we're all on."

Being on and staying on hasn't always been easy for Brevard at times this season. There are moments where everything gels and the on-court play looks seamless, but there are also moments – that can occur out of nowhere – where the team looks lost on the floor.

Bryson attributed those lapses to a young roster that is still developing as a team and gaining experience.

"I think it's just mental breakdowns," Bryson said. "I think it comes from having young players on the court. They don't know how to turn things around when things start going bad and it just gets worse and that's just a lack of experience. It's something we're just going to have to work on throughout the season."

Jeremiah Reed

Maddie Hall receives a serve during Brevard's 3-2 win over Smoky Mountain.

Along with Pogue, Baldridge had a huge night for Brevard, recording 21 kills on the night and scoring points in big moments.

The sophomore has developed quickly playing on the varsity level and seems to be only getting better with every match.

"Madison was phenomenal tonight. She finished with 21 kills and she's a huge asset. She wants to get better and wants to be the best that she can be. She looked great and I definitely see her taking our team for the next several years," Bryson said.

The Lady Blue Devils record stands at 4-7 overall, with a 2-1 mark in Mountain Six play.

Brevard hosted T.C. Roberson in a non-conference match on Monday and travels to Hendersonville for a conference match on Tuesday.


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