Blue Ridge Early College girls varsity volleyball team hosted Smoky Mountain at home on Nov. 23 and won the match 3-1, scoring what is believed to be the first victory in any sport against Smoky Mountain in BREC history.
BREC Coach Carlton Fowler said defeating an opponent like Smoky is a big deal.
“They (BREC) brought their best game I’ve seen in 4 years,” said Fowler. “We know what caliber of team Smoky Mountain is and it takes your best effort to compete with them. It was just our night and it was a huge win. The girls brought it and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Fowler added that the Lady Bobcats scrimmaged Smoky last year and knew they were coming back with a stronger team this year with powerful hitters and tough blockers.
Smoky Mountain Head Coach Megan Dezarn said BREC played a tough game.
“They played a very scrappy and offensively smart game,” said Dezarn.
BREC Athletic Director Tim Mayse confirmed BREC hasn’t defeated Smoky since his tenure began in 2012.
“Huge win considering they are a 2A program and their enrollment is more than 9 times ours,” said Mayse. “We have 45 girls and they have over 400 to make a volleyball team with.”
First conference win of the season
BREC took on Hiwassee Dam at home the day after their win against Smoky Mountain and won their first conference match of the season, 3-0.
Fowler said players have to be careful coming off a big win like the one against Smoky and not let it go to their head.
“This game was important to us,” he said. “It was the first official conference game and a lot of times coming off a big win you can let your guard down.”
The win against HD was a team effort with all BREC players getting time on the court.
“This was a conference game, an important game, I wouldn’t put my nonstarters in there if I didn’t have confidence they would get the job done,” said Fowler. “I know I can count on them for quality minutes when I need them.”
BREC plays Highlands at home on Dec. 4.
Pictured at the top of the article is BREC Gracie Watson crushing a hit against Hiwassee Dam at home on Nov. 24.