Hardin Park beats Green Valley, Mabel
by Steve Behr Sports Editor
There will not be an undefeated team in middle school volleyball in Watauga County this season. Hardin Park made sure of that.
Hardin Park shook off a loss in its first set with Green Valley by winning the next two to claim a 2-1 victory at Hardin Park’s gym. The Golden Eagles lost the first set 17-25, but rallied to win the next two 25-21, 15-13.
Green Valley went on to beat Mabel 25-11, 25-20 in the second match of the trimatch. Hardin Park cruised to a 25-14, 25-10 win over Mabel in the third match.
The biggest matchup involved Hardin Park and Green Valley, who are battling each
other for the regular season championship. Hardin Park improved to 11-1, while Green Valley slipped
Hardin Park hosts Bethel in a single match Wednesday, while Green Valley plays Valle Crucis and Blowing Rock in a trimatch at Blowing Rock.
Green Valley looked like it was on its way to completing a sweep of Hardin Park after opening a 13-7 lead in the first set. Green Valley’s setter Savannah Rushing served the final two points of the set to give the Eagles the victory.
The second set was much more competitive. Hardin Park opened a 14-8 lead, but Green Valley, behind Rushing’s serving, went on a 6-0 run to tie the set 14-14.
Green Valley established a 20-18 lead, but Hardin Park scored the next four points to retake the lead 22-20 and eventually win the set. Hardin Park broke a 12-12 tie with a side out on a Green Valley serve in the third set.
The Golden Eagles got an ace from Katie Patton, but Green Valley countered with a tap kill from Gracie Proffitt to trail 14-13. A free ball hit by Green Valley went wide of the court, which gave Hardin Park the victory.
Green Valley still had to deal with Mabel (6-6), which went into the trimatch tied for third with Valle Crucis. Taylor McCune served the Eagles to a 10-1 run that gave them a 15-5 lead in the first set that was never seriously challenged.
Mabel put a scare into Green Valley in the second set after the Eagles took a 22-13 lead. The Mustangs went on a 7-0 run to pull to 22-20 before Green Valley took a time out.
The timeout seemed to work. McCune served the final three points to seal the victory for the Eagles.
Mabel gave Hardin Park a tough time in the beginning of their first set by taking a 5-1 lead. Hardin Park eventually tied the match at 7-7 and started to pull away. Leading 14-11, the Golden Eagles went on a 6-0 run to take a 20-11 lead that was never in jeopardy.
Hardin Park took a 9-5 lead in the second match and worked it to 19-9 before outscoring the Mustangs 6-1 in the final seven points of the set.
Mabel plays in a trimatch Wednesday against Cove Creek and Parkway at Cove Creek.
In other matches, Cove Creek swept Bethel 25-23, 25-23, but Blowing Rock beat Bethel 25-18, 25-27, 15-12. Cove Creek rallied to beat Blowing Rock 24-26, 25-22, 15-10.
Valle Crucis beat Parkway 16-25, 25-16, 15-11.