Defending conference champs open season with victory

Matthew Gorry Sports Writer

August 21, 2013

OLIN - The defending Mountain Valley Conference volleyball champion Lady Rams opened their 2013 campaign with a big 3-1 victory over 3A power North Iredell Monday night.

Starmount dropped a close first game, 26-24, to the Raiders before reeling off three straight victories to capture the win. The Rams won 25-22, 25-21, 25-19 in the final three rounds to notch their first triumph of the year.

Looking to replace two-time player of the year Ashton Gregory, all-conference performers Haley Hartman and Erin Barr, along with high jump state champion Hunter Welborn, stepped into the spotlight Monday looking to fill the void.

Welborn powered the Rams with a triple-double with 19 kills, 20 digs, 13 blocks and three aces, while Hartman racked up 13 kills, 27 digs, three assists and a pair of blocks. Barr accounted for 39 assists and 22 digs on the night, including five blocks.

Alli St. John tacked on 12 digs and seven kills, while going 12-for-13 on her serves. Alli Jones was 30-for-30 on serves with 21 digs and six blocks, while Ashley Johnson added six kills and six digs.

Starmount returns to the court Tuesday night against 4A powerhouse Reagan before hosting reigning 2A state champion North Surry and 3A Carson Saturday in an early-season tri-match.

Reach Matthew Gorry at 835-1513 or mgorry@civitasmedia.com.