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    Senior Leah Holland earns a kill in the first set of the Lady Blues 3-1 victory over Springtown Tuesday. (Leader photo by Mike Williams)

Lady Blues win season opener over Springtown

Months of uncertainty came to an end Tuesday night at Graham High School. In the first GHS home sporting event since COVID-19 caused the cancellation and postponement of several events, the Lady Blues walked away with a 3-1 (25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 25-21) victory over Springtown to start the volleyball season.

The Lady Blues met the Porcupines for the second time in less than a week on Tuesday after the two teams met in a preseason scrimmage Saturday in Peaster. Although hampered by injuries to seniors Addison Kimberling and Lily Gregory, the Lady Blues used their familiarity with each other to their advantage.

The core group of 10 seniors has entered their seventh season of playing together. This was made evident in the fast-paced play style that coach Marci Faulk has instituted to make up for the lack of height on the roster.

Despite not having a summer season to gel with their new teammates, juniors Rachel Grimsley and Emma Parker did not appear to struggle in their first official match at the varsity level after moving up from junior varsity this year. Both Grimsley and Parker were involved in the match-clinching point.

"My seniors were really good at accepting them," Faulk said. "It was really storybook writing. A junior had the last set and a junior had the last kill in the game. We talked about this. They're nervous. When you have 10 talented seniors and you're the two new ones on the team, it's very intimidating. That's the best thing that can probably happen for their confidence."

Outside hitter Leah Holland shined in her first match starting at the varsity level. She came in off the bench for the varsity team last year. She made several plays, including a set-clinching block, to win the third set.

"(My confidence) definitely has grown," Holland said. "Especially (having) to step in (at) floor captain. I've had to learn to be more confident and just take it point by point."

The Lady Blues (1-0) will host Jim Ned Thursday with a 4 p.m. start for varsity. The freshman Lady Blues will play at 2 p.m. followed by JV at 3 p.m. The teams will travel to Clyde for matches against Clyde and Denver City Friday. Varsity will play at 2 p.m. against Denver City and 6 p.m. against Clyde. The Lady Blues JV will play Clyde JV at 5 p.m.

The full match story from Tuesday's win over Springtown will be in the Saturday, Aug. 15 edition of The Graham Leader.

The Graham Leader

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