Lady Bobcats volleyball team makes BREC history

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 girls varsity volleyball team defeated Smoky Mountain on Nov. 23 at home making the Lady Bobcats the first team in BREC’s history to ever win against Smoky in any sport. All photos in this article are from BREC’s first conference game of the season at home against Hiwassee Dam on Nov. 24.

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.”

BREC Ella Day passes against Hiwassee Dam.

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 Holly Foss crushes the ball onto the Hiwassee side of things.

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.”

BREC Chloe Fowler sets up the hit against Hiwassee Dam.

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.”

BREC Vanessa Russell passes against Hiwassee Dam at home.

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.

BREC Mercedes McLaughlin launches for the kill.

On the court from left are BREC Mahalah Stewart, Gracie Watson, and Holly Foss.

BREC Maddy Potts passes a line-drive hit straight at her from Hiwassee Dam.

BREC Vanessa Russell goes airborne for the kill.

BREC Macy Heltsley works the net while teammates from left Ella Day and Vanessa Russell cover.

From left are BREC Chloe Fowler, Holly Foss, and Charlotte Sherrill. Sherrill is not liking the line judges call.

Spirits were high for the Lady Bobcats after taking their first conference win of the season against Hiwassee Dam, one day after beating Smoky Mountain for the first time in BREC’s history.

Pictured at the top of the article is BREC Gracie Watson crushing a hit against Hiwassee Dam at home on Nov. 24.

Article and photos by Brian O’Shea
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