Abby Aldridge

Ashe County’s Abby Aldridge (8) prepares a serve against Starmount during a 2018 match. Aldridge is one of four seniors looking to step up for the 2019-20 Lady Huskies volleyball season.

NEWLAND — The Lady Huskies volleyball team traveled to Avery County High School for its season opener on Monday, Aug. 18, with both varsity and junior varsity teams securing the first win of the season against Avery’s Lady Vikings.

The Lady Huskies arrived at Avery at with 11 fresh faces on the team. With such a large number of freshmen, Coach Kassee Roberts said she was impressed with the team’s cohesion and overall performance during the matches.

“Even in the moments when their play wasn’t fully what they are capable of, they still dug deep and pulled themselves out of that slump,” Roberts said. “They really showed what they’re made of.”

The Lady Huskies varsity team defeated Avery after four sets. In the first set, Avery came out on top with Ashe falling behind by a score of 20-25. The momentum quickly turned around in the following sets, toppling the Lady Vikings by scores of 25-22, 25-23 and 25-18, respectively.

Ashe’s junior varsity team dominated the court during its match, winning in two sets without giving Avery a chance to catch up. In the first set, the Lady Huskies came out on top by a score of 25-21, followed by a score of 25-23 in the second set.

For this season, Roberts said she is focusing heavily on leadership skills with the team’s four seniors to help the younger players reach their potential. During Monday’s match, Roberts said senior Abby Aldridge already was demonstrating some of those skills.

“I saw a ton of leadership on the court from her last night,” Roberts said. “She always comes in very solid and fundamental, and plays hard each game.”

Roberts added that there is a lot of potential for younger players to be moved up to varsity during the season, with one freshman already playing on the varsity team during Monday’s match.

“I think they have a lot of potential, and I’m really excited to see what becomes of them,” Roberts said.

As the season progresses, Roberts said she is excited to see how the team continues to grow. She added that last year’s four-win season did not accurately represent the team’s talent.

“I am looking forward to a very successful season,” Roberts said. “This year, we have a lot of opportunity to really showcase what these girls are made of.”

The Lady Huskies will host Hibriten on Wednesday, Aug. 21, at 4:30 p.m. followed by another home match against Mitchell on Thursday, Aug. 22, at 4:30 p.m.

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