The Lady Indians (34-3), who have already won the Big 6 Conference championship and achieved another goal of going undefeated in the league, rolled through the district tournament unscathed. They won 25-19, 25-22, 25-13 in Thursday’s final.
Tournament MVP Courtney Whitson led the way with 14 kills, an ace and a block. She had plenty of help up front with regular-season player of the year Staley Humphries accounting for 12 kills, 10 digs and three aces. Hannah Watson added 12 kills and a block, and Caroline Cable had six kills.
“That was a great game. Our girls came out ready to play,” D-B coach Megan Devine said. “I’m super proud. They played consistently together with energy, motivation and they finished all the way through tonight.
“Chloe Harless did a phenomenal job leading the back row and getting the ball in Rylee Waye’s hands. When we have a pass, we have so many people who can put it away.”
Waye finished with 47 assists and Harless had 23 digs and three aces. Other leaders were Carly Shell with 14 digs and two aces and Zoie Larkins with two aces and 13 digs. Humphries said the win was truly a team effort.
“This is awesome. I love my team and that’s what got us here,” Humphries said. “I give all the glory to God. That holds our team together where we’re strong in our faith. Courtney holds us together on the court and they’re all such amazing teammates.”
Jaycie Jenkins led the Lady ‘Blazers with 10 kills, seven digs and two blocks in the championship match. McKenna Dietz had four blocks and 16 assists, while Greyson Stevens also had four blocks.
Although swept in the final, the Lady ‘Blazers achieved their main goal of advancing to next week’s regional round at Morristown with their earlier 3-2 win over Science Hill.
Other leaders in the championship match were Mackenzie Sweigart with six kills and Dannah Persinger with two kills and three blocks.
Daniel Boone 3, Science Hill 2
The Lady ‘Blazers rallied from a 22-17 deficit in the first game to tie and eventually win 26-24, which ended up being a huge determining factor in the match. It was a 26-24, 13-25, 19-25, 25-17, 15-7 Boone victory.
Jaycie Jenkins led the way with 12 kills and 20 digs. She had an ace and four kills in the deciding fifth set, including a kill to end the match. McKenna Dietz followed with 32 assists and 21 digs.
“That was our goal to make sure we won the first game,” Boone coach Chelsea Spivey said. “We came out and we had heart, we had enthusiasm and we were aggressive. We knew it was going to be a good game and it went five. We had to get that first set. It only takes one call, one play to switch the momentum and we finally got that.”
Also for Boone, Greyson Stevens had a double-double of 10 kills, 15 digs and five blocks. Other Boone leaders were Riley Brinn with a dozen digs, Mackenzie Sweigart with seven kills and five blocks, Abbi Herbert with five kills and three blocks and Dannah Persinger with three kills, four blocks and four digs.
The meeting was the sixth between the teams this season, two days after Science Hill won a 3-1 tournament decision over Boone. Lady ‘Toppers coach Laura Cook lamented the fact Thursday’s match went five games.
“This group of girls have worked hard since January,” Cook said. “They’ve spent the time in the weight room and the gym and I really hate it for the seniors. I was not wanting to go five. That fifth game is the short game and if you don’t get the momentum, it’s hard to get it back. That first game, we just didn’t finish. That was a game we should have had. We fought, we just couldn’t keep that momentum.”
Claire Thomas had 11 kills for the Lady ‘Toppers, followed by Attie Forbes with 10 kills. Riley Layton amassed eight kills, five aces and 14 digs, while Ella Gay also had eight kills.
Alyssa Neal provided 24 assists and 14 digs, while Jesse Franks totaled four kills, four aces and a team-high 21 digs. Other leaders were Meghan Carroll with four kills and 18 digs and Chloe Smith with 20 assists.