Good passing greatly contributed to North Raleigh Christian Academy’s Volley with the Knights tournament championship last week.
And manning the defense and passing was junior libero Kincey Smith.
The Knights finished in its home tourney undefeated, taking down Concord Cannon 2-0 (25-18, 25-15) in the final.
Smith led that game with 13 digs, as the Knights advanced to a 15-1 overall record.
“It’s all team. We don’t have one person that stands out among the rest. We have an eighth-grader up to a senior of players who get on the court and play,” said Smith, who is in her third year of varsity volleyball with NRCA.
She said “finally being able to win it and go undefeated, it was kind of like revenge for all the times … we lost.”
In the championship win, the Knights didn’t have any dig errors.
Smith said Concord continuously hit and served to her and eighth-grader Skylar Buckley, who had 12 digs in the victory.
Though the defense doesn’t account for very many kills, Smith said it still plays a valuable role in the game.
“The whole play, you start with a pass,” she said. “It’s the foundation of it all. For me, I like to run the court. You get to make the decisions, not like boss people around, but you tell them to stand here or do this. I like it, personally.
“That’s something that attracted me to (my position).”
Smith, who was born in Tennessee, started playing volleyball in sixth grade. Because of her size, she embraced a role in the backseat.
“I’ve accepted the fact that people aren’t always going to recognize it,” Smith said about being a libero. “For me, I love the feeling of getting a big dog on an important play.”
Against Concord, she and Buckley took turns with serve receive. Smith had 10 receptions, while Buckley led the Knights with 12.
Smith said at the start of the season, she was skeptical about how the Knights would fare with just one returning outside hitter.
With a 15-win record, they seem to be doing all right.
“In the beginning of the season, I was kind of worried. I was like someone’s going to have to step up, and it can’t be me because I’m tiny and can’t hit,” she said jokingly. “I was a little worried about that. Then, we had our young players step up and that was exciting for me. Our team is really feisty. We fight for each other and that’s what makes it enjoyable for me.”
Jessika Morgan: 919-829-4538, @JessikaMorgan
Name: Kincey Smith
Hometown: Kingston, Tenn.
School: North Raleigh Christian Academy
Fun fact: She used to run track.