Evans seniors Lauren Middleton and Brittany Gray aren't the violent type, but the reason Evans beat both Lakeside and Greenbrier this season has something to do with their kills.
Middleton, a starting middle hitter for Evans, tallied seven kills in a single game against Lakeside last week. The points added up to a 25-12, 25-21 Lady Knights win and handed Lakeside its first loss of the season.
Gray, the other starting middle hitter for Evans, totaled six kills and 14 aces to lift the Lady Knights over Greenbrier last week. Gray served for 11 consecutive points to open the third and deciding game against Greenbrier on Thursday night.
"I don't know what came over me. At first I just wanted to keep them in," Gray said of the long string of serves. "I served a little harder and harder each time."
When Gray's serves finally ended, Evans had an 11-0 lead and she got a standing ovation. Not bad for a girl who didn't start playing volleyball until two years ago.
A torn ACL kept her out of any sports action during her freshman year. After recovering, Gray decided to give volleyball a shot.
"We told her, 'You're an athlete. You have to play volleyball,'" Middleton said.
Now starters on the team, Middleton and Gray have become close friends. Evans volleyball coach C.C. Armstrong said the two girls are model examples both on and off the court.
"These are my girls. I don't have any kids of my own, but if I did I would want them to be identical to these two girls," Armstrong said. "They are awesome young ladies."
With wins over Lakeside and Greenbrier under their belts, both Middleton and Gray said, there's no limit to what the Lady Knights can do this season. With five senior starters and a 5-0 record, most area coaches have already said this is the year for Evans.
"We knew what these games meant coming in," Gray said. "We're hungry. They were hungry, too, but we're starving. This is our year."
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