Cave Spring’s new volleyball head coach, Kylee Beecher, got a quick indoctrination into the local Class 3 talent Tuesday night at the Knight’s gym.
First game up in the season opener for the Knights: a visit by defending Class 3 state champions Lord Botetourt, who rolled into Southwest Roanoke County on a 32 match winning streak.
Tough cookie to crack in Beecher’s debut, but despite a 25-20, 25-20, 25-15 setback to the Cavs, Beecher and the Knight fans saw plenty to be excited about for the future of Cave Spring volleyball.
“I’d been told Lord Botetourt has been the first match on the schedule for a while,” Beecher noted after the match. “It just happened that they are state champs this time.”
Cave Spring showed a lot of game against a team that hasn’t lost since 2016, attacking the Botetourt defense from the outset.
“Really, I was thrilled the way we played,” Beecher pointed out. “I knew our girls were able to play like this after the jamboree we played in earlier this summer. For the first match of the season, we came through and took it right to Botetourt. We’ll fix some little things, work on serves and reduce unforced errors. We’ll be all right.”
Still, Botetourt rode it’s strength with power volleyball that proved to be the difference. All-State hitter Miette Veldman slammed down 17 kills and Scottie Cook added seven kills that made things difficult for the Knight defense, despite a yeoman effort by Cave Spring senior Kylie Angel, who brought up 25 digs from the hardwood, many in spectacular fashion that had the gym buzzing.
The first set was an exercise in scoring runs. Botetourt went up 8-3 before the Knights roared back to tie things at 15. But, the Cavs finished with a 10-5 run to put the opener away. The second set was a mirror image after Cave Spring ran out to a 14-10 lead, only to see Botetourt rebound to knot things at 15. Once again, a 10-5 surge by the Cavs finished the set off, punctuated by a kill by Veldman for set point.
The third set was all Botetourt, as the Cavs got in state championship form and ran out to a 21-9 lead before coasting to the 25-15 match clincher.
“We missed some serves and Cave Spring did a good job of challenging our defense,” Botetourt head coach Julie Conner noted. “We pulled together at the right times tonight. We’re a good team when we get the ball to our hitters. We were OK once we got settled in.”
The Cave Spring offense was led by junior Taylor Robertson’s 12 kills.