WELLSTON — It’s no secret of the coaching carousel that Wellston has undergone over the past four years.
But even with those changes, one thing has always been a constant in the volleyball program and that is Kamryn Karr.
And on Monday, the senior setter reached a milestone as she notched her 1,000th career assist to help guide the Golden Rockets to a straight-set victory over Oak Hill 25-11, 25-15 and 25-10.
“Getting my 1,000th assist is a really special accomplishment for me. I knew I was close, but I wasn’t exactly sure how close,” Karr said. “Overall, I’m just really thankful for my teammates and coaches for pushing me over the past four years. It’s a big milestone that doesn’t happen for a lot of people, so I’m fortunate.”
What was even more special for Karr along with the other seniors was snapping an eight-game losing streak on their Love4Lewis game, honoring their former middle school volleyball coach Phil Lewis, who passed after a battle with cancer.
Being that this group of seniors was the very last group he ever coached, it made Monday’s game that much more meaningful to them.
“It was all about playing for him, so we knew we couldn’t lose this one,” Wellston’s Nevaeh Ousley said.
“We always play our best game when it’s time for Love4Lewis,” Karr added. “It feels like he’s here with us, so we just play our heart out.”
One thing that certainly helped the Golden Rockets in their win was locating their serves to open areas in Oak Hill’s defense.
But when those holes closed up, Wellston went with more of a power serve to get the job. All and all, the mixing up of serving tactics and speed resulted in 13 aces on the evening.
“We’ve played Oak Hill now twice, so the familiarity helps a little,” Karr said. “The first time was our season opener and now on Love4Lewis, games we never want to lose. We hit our spots, served hard and saw the floor pretty well.”
The Golden Rockets never faced any danger in the opening set. With Karr at the serving line, they raced out to a quick 6-0 lead and continued to pile on.
A pair of aces later in the set from Sadie Henry pushed the lead up to 13-2, and later, back-to-back kills from Karr extended up to 19-5.
Henry then put the final touches on the set with three straight aces to end it and give them the first set.
Oak Hill began showing some signs of life as an early ace from Chloe Chambers put it ahead 5-4.
Wellston took the lead a couple points later following an ace from Taylar Spencer and didn’t look back.
Despite the Oaks’ best effort to keep it close, the Golden Rockets went on a 5-0 run capped by Karr’s 1,000th assist to go up 18-10 before a pair of aces from Ousley closed out the second set.
Sensing a victory was at their door, they went on the attack and went on a 4-0 run to go ahead 8-4. That lead was further pushed to 15-6 following a pair of kills and blocks from Lauren Cheatem.
From that point, the Golden Rockets put everything on cruise control for the rest of the set and cashed in for the victory.
“We have to continue coming into practices and games focused and not too high since we won,” Ousley said. “It’s one game at a time and we do have some important TVC games ahead of us, so we need to get a couple more wins.”
Wellston returns to action Thursday at home against Vinton County in TVC action, while Oak Hill travels to play in SOC II action at Eastern on Wednesday.