Lady Blue Devils Fall 3-0 To Panthers In Home Opener
Last updated 11/23/2020 at 4:19pm
Playing in front of a sparsely crowded gymnasium, the Brevard Lady Blue Devils dropped their home opener to the Franklin Panthers last Thursday.
Despite the Panthers winning 3-0, the match was back and forth most of the night, and Brevard had several opportunities at set point but couldn’t get the kills when they needed them.
The first set featured six lead changes and a lengthy exchange of points.
Franklin led 23-19 before Brevard rattled off five straight points to make it 24-23. The Panthers retook the lead and moved to set point at 25-24 before Brevard moved back ahead, earning set point at 26-25.
Franklin had set point again at 27-26, followed by set point for Brevard at 28-27. The two sides fought to a tie at 28-28 and 29-29 before the Panthers closed out the first set 31-29.
Brevard jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the second set before Franklin went on a 9-0 run to make it 11-7. The Lady Blue Devils never recovered and the Panthers cruised to a 25-14 win.
Brevard settled into the third set, taking a 12-11 lead after a kill from Mackenzie Baldridge. Brevard led 18-13 but Franklin fought back to tie the score at 20-20, before moving ahead 23-21.
The Lady Blue Devils rallied to move to set point at 24-23, but Franklin tied things up at 24-24, going on to take the final two points to secure the match.
After last year’s run to the 2A state semifinal, Brevard saw a vast turnover in its roster. Outside of a few players, there isn’t much varsity experience on this year’s team.
Head coach Cori Bryson said one the biggest challenges this season will be getting her team to develop chemistry and jell as a unit.
“I don’t want to make excuses, but we’re a young team and inexperienced and we’re seeing that in some of the inconsistent play. The skill is there and the talent is there, it’s just finding a way to get them to mesh and work together on the court,” she said.
Those inconsistencies were on display against the Panthers, as Brevard played well at times, but had extended stretches during the match where things seemed to slip away.
“We’ve got all the pieces but when things go bad, it goes real bad real quick,” Bryson said. “We’ve talked about not letting our mistakes get in our heads and coming back strong for the next point, but, for some reason, we can’t get over that hurdle.
“I think time will tell and I’m hoping we can flush some of those kinks out, but we don’t have a long season to get that done.”
Brevard travels to Smoky Mountain (1-1) on Tuesday.
There’s still time to make up ground in the conference standings, but Bryson said her more immediate focus is working to develop that on-court chemistry and work toward improving as the season advances.
“We want to be a totally different team the next time around when we see Franklin and when we see East. My goals in practice have been baby steps to build the consistency, build the camaraderie and build the team. Our goal is still to finish with a winning record,” Bryson said.