By Gene Phelps

Special to the Gazette

ELLISTOWN – One team is rebuilding, the other just getting started.

Hickory Flat, a state finalist last season, defeated first-year program, East Union, 3-0 (25-8, 25-13, 25-11) Tuesday in a Class 1, Division 2 volleyball match.

The visiting Rebels dominated from start to finish. One those players was Emma Wilson, who registered five kills and five service aces in Hickory Flat’s win.

“Our kids were like, ‘Coach, I’ve never seen a ball hit like that,’’’ East Union coach Josh Blythe said. “She was playing chess and we were playing checkers. That girl was hitting it.”

Hickory Flat improved to 3-7 overall and to 2-0 in division play. East Union is now 5-8 and 0-2.

Blythe says despite the loss, his team continues to learn.

“I saw two things tonight we don’t do … the way they attacked, the way they hit,” he said. “We’re going to practice doing some of those things.”

An ace by Erin Hancock gave Hickory Flat a 20-5 lead in the opening set. She finished with two aces in the set. Wilson added two aces and two kills.

A blocked shot by Hannah White helped East Union take a short-lived 4-1 lead in the second set. The Rebels rallied behind two kills from Wilson, her second one giving them the 12-point win.

Hickory Flat built a 16-2 lead in the third set, but saw East Union recover and make two abbreviated runs. Two kills by Peyton Wildman helped pull the Urchins to within 18-7.

“We’re not receiving consistently. We’re not serving consistently,” Blythe said. “We had a couple of volleys go over four or five times. This is our first year of doing this. This is not their first year of doing this.”

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