The stellar play of four seniors, each having a specific role they’ve carried out exceptionally well, has allowed Hardin Valley Academy to replace nemesis Farragut as the local volleyball public school powerhouse in 2017.
Outside hitter Mandy Prescott, setter Alex Kirby, libero Isabella Mitchell and middle hitter Jericka Emert led the way during a special HVA regular season [32-7].
With that quartet helping HVA finish No. 3 in the state in Class AAA last season, the Lady Hawks won District 3-AAA with a perfect 6-0 record this campaign, including a victory against FHS [2-0 overall this season versus the Lady Admirals].
Most impressive of all was slaying “the giant” a few weeks ago, the shining star among the team’s 32 regular-season wins: HVA defeated three-time defending Class AAA state champ Brentwood during Sunsphere tourney in Knoxville.
“That was a pretty big win for us. We were really excited and thrilled,” Mitzi McCurry, head coach, said.
As for McCurry’s special seniors, Prescott “has really come a long way for us the last couple of years,” the coach said. “She’s turned out to be a great leader, not only for the varsity … she’s a great mentor for the freshmen and JV girls [teams]. … She set the bar high for what Hardin Valley volleyball is all about.”
About Kirby, “I’m thrilled to death,” McCurry said. “She’s one of the best high school setters I’ve ever seen. … How she runs our offense is pretty incredible.”
Mitchell has a special name. “I call her ‘the glue’ because without her, Alex and Mandy probably wouldn’t shine like they do,” McCurry said. “A lot of people don’t give her credit because they don’t understand volleyball. She makes everything look easy — she’s so good. She’s really what ignites our defense.”
Emert “is playing a really good role in our season because she is very consistent. … Just goes in and gets the job done,” McCurry said.
Hardin Valley and Farragut were looking to advance into the 3-AAA title game tonight, Thursday, Oct. 5, at South-Doyle High School [TBA].