The Transylvania Times -

Lady Blue Devils Riding High After 3-0 Win Over Franklin

 

October 3, 2019

Ginny Pace led Brevard with 13 kills in Tuesday night's win over Franklin. (Times photos by Jeremiah Reed)

The Brevard Lady Blue Devils picked up a statement victory Tuesday night, defeating Franklin 3-0 to maintain their place atop the Mountain Six standings.

Coming into the match, Brevard had won 13 straight games, and Franklin had won seven straight, with their last loss coming against Brevard.

And while it wasn't easy, the Lady Blue Devils made it look that way at times, putting together an efficient performance and moving closer to a regular season conference title.

"The team came out and did exactly what I needed them to do tonight," said head coach Cori Bryson. "We knew that Franklin was going to be ready. They played us well over there and they've been beating up on everybody else in the conference. My girls jumped out the best tonight that they have in any game this year. I'm super proud of them."

Things were tight in the first set before Brevard opened up a 13-8 lead, prompting a Franklin timeout. The break wasn't enough for the Panthers to turn the tide, as Brevard took the set 25-15.

The Lady Blue Devils kept the hammer down in the second set, racing out to a 6-0 lead before stretching it to 11-1.

The Panthers managed to get within five points, at 17-12, but Brevard kept their lead, going on to take set two 25-17.

The third set was the closest of the night, with the two sides trading points back and forth. Franklin got as close as three points, with the score 15-12, but Brevard scored four straight points to make it 19-12.

The Panthers had one last gasp, putting together a rally to cut it to 20-18.

Bryson called a timeout to calm her team and quell the storm, and the Lady Blue Devils responded with a 4-1 run before closing out the set 25-20.

Ginny Pace led the offense with 13 kills. Madison Baldridge and Kaitlyn Pressley had 11 kills each, with Pressley logging a team-high 25 assists.

Brevard also got eight kills from Brooklyn Rising. Rising has been limited most of the season, as she's recovered from a knee injury suffered at the end of the season last year.

However, Bryson has intigrated her more into the regular lineup over the past few weeks, hoping to get her as close to full-strength as possible in time for the playoffs.

And while other players have stepped up in her absence, getting the senior back on the floor adds another element that opponents must contend with.

"We're glad to see Brooklyn getting back in there," Bryson said. "She's been working really hard at practice, a lot of times going against the starters. She still has those mental struggles sometimes with the injury, but I think she's bounced back great and tonight was one of her best games."

Brevard (17-4) has just four games remaining on its schedule, with three against conference opponents and three home matches.

Winning two of those conference matches would guarantee Brevard its second straight regular season Mountain Six title. They have a chance to get one of those wins Thursday night, as they travel to Smoky Mountain for their final road game.

The Lady Blue Devils close out the season with three home matches in three days next week, starting Tuesday against Hendersonville.

Senior Kaitlyn Pressley finished with 11 kills and a team-high 25 assists as the Lady Blue Devils won their 14th straight match.

Last year, Brevard had a similar stretch, rattling off 18 straight wins in the middle of the year. However, over their final eight games Brevard was just 3-5.

Going into this season, Bryson said she wanted to reverse that trend, and see her team play their best as the season progressed. So far, they haven't disappointed and with the first round of the playoffs just over three weeks away, the Lady Blue Devils are right where they want to be.

"We've talked about not wanting to peak too early and I think we're peaking at just the right time. We've moved up to second in the state rankings, and we want to ride that out for a while. I can't complain. The girls are working hard in practice. We know there are things we have to work on. We're by no means perfect, but I really think this team has a chance to go far," Bryson said.

 
 

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