Lady Devils win against Asheville School

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For the past few season, Swain County Volleyball Head Coach Kayla McMahan has pushed her team to not just start strong, but to close out sets and finish matches. Although the message was consistent, the execution was not.  

McMahan stuck with her mantra, once again calling upon the 2019 Lady Devils to pride themselves on their ability to finish strong. This year’s group has met the challenge, and demonstrated its mettle on Wednesday evening with a convincing victory over Asheville School. Winning in straight sets is impressive enough, but the fact that Swain climbed back from early deficits in all three frames was what excited McMahan.

“We’re big on finishing games this year, that has been our big motto because in the past we haven’t been able to finish games and now it is finally clicking,” she said.

McMahan credited a practice drill for her team’s newfound fortitude.

“We do this drill called Slip-n-Slide where the score starts at 20-20,” she explained. “If your team makes a mistake, your score goes back to 18. It helps us push for points instead of thinking about making errors.”

 The effects of the drill showed as Swain County climbed out of early holes in all three sets to win 25-13, 25-17, and 25-20. The twin towers of Junior Jenna Marr and senior Kaitlin Anthony were simply too much for Asheville School to deal with on its home court.  

“They can do just about anything for us,” McMahan said of the size advantage of her two stars. “They have the tip, they can hit it, they can put it on spots, they are just very versatile.” 

The win pushes Swain County to 7-1 on the season, McMahan’s best start as a head coach.

The team will hit the road again on Thursday evening to take on rival Cherokee at 6 p.m. McMahan is enjoying the success of her group, but her message remains the same as the wins continue to pile up.

 “We just want to play hard, play with energy, and play as a group,” she said.

Smoky Mountain Times

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