Posted January 29, 2017
TENNESSEE RIVER PEARLS VOLLEYBALL CLUB SEASON DEBUT
Three teams from the Tennessee River Pearls Volleyball Club made their 2016-17 debut January 21-22, 2017 at the Smoky Mountain Challenge in Gatlinburg, Tenn. The 12U and 14U teams started the tournament early Saturday morning with the 18U team starting later that afternoon.
While preparing in practice for the Smoky Mountain Challenge, the Tennessee River Pearls players brought in donations to give to the relief effort for the Phoenix Rising Volleyball Club members affected by the recent fires in Gatlinburg. A total of $269.73 was collected.
14U TEAM TIED FOR 3RD PLACE FINISH
The 14U team came out serving strong in the first match against Lanier 14-2 taking the match in 2 sets; 25-10 and 25-16. The second match of the day proved to be a battle of skill against new club Mojo’s14-1 team. T.R. Pearls were off to slow start against Mojo losing the first set 12-25. TRP14U continued to struggle the first half of the 2nd set. After a 2nd timeout the girls rallied to win the set taking Mojo to extra points winning 28-26. Determined to win the match, the 14U T.R. Pearls maintained their winning momentum with a 15-10 third set score. The 14U T.R. Pearls played their final match of pool play against Cross Court 14-Teal. Pearls set the tone early with consistent serving resulting in a 25-17 set score. Cross Court began the second set with determination establishing an early lead. By that time the Pearls were anxious to end their pool play with a win. Newcomer Madi Byrum served out the set for a 25-22 win earning the T.R. Pearls first place in the pool and a first round bye in the Gold Bracket.
The Gold Bracket began Sunday, Jan. 22 and proved to be a challenge for the 14U T.R. Pearls. The Pearls faced TVC 14 White in the second round. They started out strong in the first set winning 25-22 but could not seem to finish against the team that would remain undefeated and become tournament champions. The T.R. Pearls then faced Lanier 14-1 losing in two sets 14-25 and 16-25. Pearls placed fourth in the Gold Bracket and tied with Lanier 14-1 for third place overall.
14U T.R. Pearls finished their first tournament with 85% team serving percentage. Individual serving percentages were Ava Wills leading the team with 93% closely followed by Alora Scholes with 92.7%; Madi Byrum – 86.7%; Claire Vaughn – 82.1%; Kassie Spann – 81%; Madison Berryhill – 80.5%; Natalie Haskins – 50%. The team had a 81% passing percentage and a 73% serve receive team percentage. Madison Berryhill led the defense with an 84% dig percentage followed by Kassie Spann with 81% and Alora Scholes with 71%. Overall it was a positive start to the travel ball season.