The Starmount Rams volleyball squad started out ugly Tuesday night against the Lady Elks, but at least it ended pretty.
Despite losing the first set 25-23, the Rams responded by winning three straight sets in dominant fashion for a 3-1 win in their fourth conference match of the season.
“Every match matters, and you’re still a little bit unfamiliar with everybody’s responsibility,” Head Coach Jon Symons said. “After we got into the flow of the game and settled ourselves, then we opened up our eyes and saw some things that I thought we could exploit.”
Starmount led in the first set early on, but the Lady Elks came roaring back for a 25-23 victory. From there, it was all Starmount, who won 25-15, 25-13, and 25-13 in their next three sets for the win. Senior Ashley Johnson sealed the victory with an ace at the end.
“We were off to a rough start, and being a young team has part to do with it, but we came back around and picked it up,” Johnson said. “With our serves we weren’t putting it right to them. We were keeping them off balance.”
Many times throughout the night, the Rams fielded four freshman, one sophomore and Johnson, their lone senior on the court. The win gave the young team an added confidence boost for their matchup against Alleghany on Thursday night. Johnson is the last remaining member of the 2013 team which won the state championship, and the 2012 team which made it to the state semifinals.
“At the beginning of the  season, everyone was nervous. I mean when I was a freshman, I was nervous, too. It’s something you’ve got to overcome. Being a young team, we definitely need the extra confidence to show us that we can beat good teams,” Johnson said.
“Most times when you go through your career in high school volleyball there’s going to be a week or maybe just a day where the lightbulb goes on and the game slows down,” Symons said. “Then you really go and I’m hoping that’s going to happen for some of us sooner than later.”
Symons later went on to say there are going to be many obstacles to making the state playoffs, noting the 1A-2A split in the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference, and Tuesday’s game against Elkin was one of them. They’ve yet to play East Wilkes and played Alleghany on Thursday night. Their result against Alleghany was not available at press time.
Ryan DeCosta can be reached at 336-258-4052 or via Twitter @rsdecosta.