Lady Hawks beat nemesis FHS, No. 2 in Early Bird

Prescott, Kirby, Mitchell earn special praise

With a huge semifinal victory, Hardin Valley Academy captured second place in the Gold Bracket of annual Early Bird volleyball tournament among a 32-team field.

“Overall, all of our girls played as a team. They played great and they worked really hard,” HVA head coach Mitzi McCurry said after the final rounds Saturday evening, Aug. 26, at Farragut High School of this two-day tournament also played at three other area gymnasiums. “I’m proud of them.

“We had our ups and our downs. But we stuck it through. Sometimes we won and it wasn’t pretty,” McCurry added.

Finishing 8-1 at Early Bird among a statewide field plus one powerful program from South Carolina, the Lady Hawks swept past rival Farragut in the semifinal round in straight games, 25-18, 25-18.

McCurry said beating Farragut, a nemesis in recent years, “was nice. It was a stepping stone to the finals.”

“Over the past few years while they still had their strong [Class of 2017] seniors, it was a very difficult thing for us to beat them,” Mandy Prescott, senior star outside hitter, said. “But this year we have a very strong core.”

“When we had to go to somebody, Mandy Prescott was our go-to hitter,” McCurry said about her play during Early Bird.

Ravenwood edged HVA 15-11 in a third and deciding game in the championship match, with the Lady Hawks losing game one 25-23 and winning game two 25-16.

“This is not bad at all. We came out to win. We were almost there,” Prescott said.

As for other individuals during the tournament, “Alex Kirby I thought played really well overall, very steady for us,” McCurry said about her senior setter. “She’s a great leader.

“I know Izzy [Isabella Mitchell, senior libero] was stable on defense for us. She’s our glue.”

Hardin Valley entered the week with a 17-3 overall record.