After suffering their first loss of the season to a talented Lake City squad the Lady Senator Volleyball team bounced back with three Area II wins last week.
On Monday, Sept. 9, Norris travelled to Maynardville to take on Lady Red Devils of Horace Maynard Middle School.
The hot bus ride over curvy roads has long given the Lady Red Devils a distinctive home court advantage that has been the doom of many a team. The Lady Senators refused to succumb to Horace Maynard even after their bus had to detour on a “pig path” according to Norris assistant coach Amanda Mayes.
The Norris setter started the match with an ace and the Lady Senators poured on the power serving up 8 aces in a 25-9 first set victory. The second set was never in doubt as Norris cruised to a 25-15 victory.
Thursday, Sept. 13, saw Norris host Area II rivals Jefferson and Robertsville from Oak Ridge City Schools.
Jefferson needed a win to challenge Norris for first place and looked poised to do so before the match having taken NMS to 3 sets earlier in the season.
In set 1, Norris jumped out to a 12 to 2 lead off the effective serving power of Ebby Mayes and Emma Neff. Jefferson just could not put the ball down against the Lady Senator defense of middle blockers Kyra Dmewood and Emily Mustard.
What spikes did get by the big Norris block where gobbled up by defensively by Haven Swanner, Jada Seiber, Catelyn Tackett as Norris cruized to a 25-9 victory.
Set number 2 started out with Jefferson’s only lead of the night at 1-0 before a wicked kill by Emily Mustard and 13 straight points served by Ebby Mayes. Norris’ libero Haven Swanner then served 6 more points including 2 aces to obliterate the Lady Eagles mercifully ending the set 25-3.
Next up for Norris was Robertsville Middle School. Norris won the match 25-14, 25-17. Norris played all 15 varsity players in the win. Lexe Gatliff, Ryanna Comer, Ava Williams, Madison Phillips, Sonya Bean, Makyla Lowe, Zoey Rose, and Brianna Merryfield all saw significant action in the Norris victory.
On Saturday, September 14, the Lady Senators took their 11-1 record to Sevierville to compete in the Rocky Top Classic Volleyball Tournament. Teams from 4 states competed in the tournament. Norris got off to a slow start losing to West View Middle School 25-13, 25-19 in the first match of pool play. That loss meant that Norris had no way to make the gold playoff bracket. The Lady Senators then played Buckhorn Middle School from Huntsville, Alabama. Norris got down early in the first set as Buckhorn leapt out to a 5-0 lead. Norris slowly crawled back to tie the set at 12-12. Norris then edged ahead 17-13 on 4 service points from setter Ebby Mayes. Buckhorn then ripped off a 6 point run of their own to lead 19-18. Emma Neff served one point before the team from Alabama scored 4 more points to take a commanding 23-19 lead. Norris, however, would not give up as 7th grade libero Haven Swanner toed the service line and tied the match at 23-23. After a missed served, Buckhorn served out the set winning 25-23. The second set was all Norris as they dominated with aggressive play on the net and determined defense winning 25-17 setting up an exciting and decisive third set. The final set was a back and forth affair before Buckhorn edged out Norris 15-13 winning the last 3 points after trailing 12-13.
The loss dropped Norris into the Bronze Playoff Bracket where they turned the day around by defeating E.B. Stanley Middle School from Abingdon, Virginia 25-19, 25-12. Norris then played T.A. Dugger from Elizabethton, Tennessee in the finals. Norris played the best it had played all day in the finals defeating a talented team 25-14, 25-12 to claim the championship.
With just two regular season matches remaining before tournament time, Norris’ record stands at 13 wins and 3 losses. Next up for the Lady Senators is 8th Grade Night on Monday, September 16 versus Jacksboro and a rematch of Lake City on Tuesday, September 17 in Rocky Top. The Area 2 tournament will be played at Jacksboro on September 23 and 24. Norris has locked up the number one seed and will start tournament play on Tuesday.