Returnee-packed Blue Ridge volleyball squad expected to get noticed in Smoky Mountain conference
By Dan Brown / Staff
CASHIERS -- The Blue Ridge Early College volleyball team is going to surprise some opponents in the Little Smoky Mountain Conference this fall.
Returning everybody, Coach Cindy Fowler’s Bobcat girl team is improved and experienced, and is no longer the automatic “W” in the win column on opponents’ schedules.
“Even though we are still considered a young team, we still have high hopes and great expectations for this year,” Fowler said Thursday.
The Lady Bobcats have a year under their belts from the top of the roster to the bottom, from returning seniors to sophomores.
Seniors Jade Bryson, Co-captain Devon Heenen and Hailee Moss, along with lone junior, Co-captain Kaitlyn Stewart, lead the Lady Bobcats on the court and off. Though just sophomores, Chloe Fowler, Madeline Potts and Charlotte Sherrill also cover the court for the Bobcat girls.
“We have a good mix of players,” Fowler said.
In 2017, the Blue Ridge took its lumps, posting a 5-14 match record, and a 21-47 game record, finishing third in the Little Smoky Mountain Conference. The Lady Bobcats were shut out nine times, suffered through losing streaks of three, four and five games, and did not make the playoffs.
This will not happen in 2018, Fowler said.
“We’re going to surprise some people.”
Blue Ridge is 0-2 at press time with losses to Hiawassee Dam and Swain County. Scores for this past Tuesday’s match against Rabun Gap were unavailable at press time.
Big games to look for in the coming weeks include one on Monday, Sept. 10. It’s a home match against Cashiers-Highlands plateau rival Highlands for plateau bragging rights.
“It’s always a big match when we play Highlands,” Fowler said.
The Lady Bobcats will again battle plateau arch-foe Highlands in away action on Oct. 2 for the second match home conference battle.
Tough teams to face in the Little Smoky Mountain Conference are 2017 conference champion Hiawasee Dam and Highlands, who finished second. Even Nantahala, who finished 2017 in last place with a 0-16 match record is improved this year.
“Everybody is a little better this year,” Fowler said.
This is Fowler’s second season as head coach of the Lady Bobcats. Carlton Fowler, her husband, is her assistant coach.
The 2018-2019 team’s roster includes, seniors, Jade Bryson, Devon Heenan, Hailee Moss; juniors, Kaitlyn Stewart; sophomores, Chloe Fowler, Madeline Potts, Charlotte Sheririll, Ella Day; and freshmen, Holly Foss and Gracie Watson.
2018-2019 BLUE RIDGE VOLLEYBALL SCHEDULE
• 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 4 -- Blue Ridge visits Nantahala.
• 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 6 -- Blue Ridge visits Cherokee.
• 5 p.m. Friday, Sept. 7 -- Blue Ridge visits Rabun Gap.
• 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 10, Blue Ridge hosts Highlands.
• 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13 -- Blue Ridge visits Rosman.
• 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18 -- Blue Ridge hosts Hiawassee Dam.
• 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 20 -- Blue Ridge visits Swain County.
• 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 25 -- Blue Ridge hosts Nantahala.
• 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2 -- Blue Ridge visits Highlands.
• 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 8 -- Blue Ridge hosts Cherokee.
• 6 p.m. Thursday Oct. 11 -- Blue Ridge hosts Rosman.
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