KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL)- In our new digital series ‘High School Standouts,’ Digital Sports Reporter Michael Epps features local athletes with incredible talent, hoping to take that talent to the next level.
These are athletes that stand out both on and off the field.
This week’s High School Standout is Morgan Smith, a senior on the volleyball team at Elizabethton High School.
Fans holding signs is something you can always find at a sporting event. The Elizabethton volleyball fans brought their signs to a match last week at Sullivan South.
But on this night, one of those sings stood out among the rest.
“I went to our local UPS store and they had the great idea and did it for us,” Tonia Smith, mother of senior volleyball player Morgan Smith, said.
Tonia Smith’s sign is simply a piece of paper with a K and a small number on it.
“Coach Bradley approached me about it and so I was like I have no idea what to do so they had the K idea,” Smith said.
The K is for a kill, as her daughter Morgan Smith is close to breaking the school record for them. So the number on the sign is really a countdown.
“Yeah my mom had the sign and it had Ks on it and a number underneath it, so everytime I’d get one she’d rip one off,” Morgan Smith said.
“We’ve been looking for a couple weeks knowing that she was getting close,” Elizabethton volleyball head coach Leslee Bradley said.
“We pulled it out yesterday it started at 15 so yeah we started it last night,” Tonia Smith said.
“Yeah I knew I had 8 to go today, so every time I got one I would look over and see how many I had left,” Morgan Smith said.
It just felt like tonight had to be the night to break the record. She already holds the school record for most career assists, which she broke last year.
“Everyone was talking about it to me at school all my teammates and stuff and telling me that I was gonna get it tonight and just encouraging me to do my best,” Morgan Smith said.
“I think so yeah, 98% sure, pretty sure,” Tonia Smith said when asked if she thinks Morgan will break the record. “She’s not giving up that’s for sure she’ll keep fighting until the end.”
She did keep fighting, until the very end of the final set. She got it.
“We’ve been talking about having something memorable and so that’s definitely a memorable moment, to get to that point and have that sign and it was a really good kill,” Bradley said.
“I was really excited and just felt so supported by all my friends my parents and everything like that, but i did get embarrassed a little bit because everyone went crazy,” Morgan Smith said.
The Cyclones lost the match, 3-1. But a team win can come on another night. This night was for Morgan.
“I just think holding two records, holding one is impressive but to hold the 2nd one, and her goal is to hit 1000 kills before her career is over so this will put her at 988,” Tonia Smith said.
“That last kill that got her to that record was a momentous kill which so many of the kills she has had have been like that, so it really makes it a special moment,” Bradley said.
Follow this series throughout the year as WJHL’s Michael Epps finds the High School Standout every week on WJHL.com.