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D-B adapts, conquers to keep Big 6 title hopes alive

Tanner Cook • Sep 27, 2019 at 2:26 AM

KINGSPORT — The Dobyns-Bennett volleyball team took care of business on Thursday night inside the Buck Van Huss Dome by earning a thrilling four-set victory over Big 6 rival Science Hill.

The 25-15, 15-25, 26-24, 26-24 win kept the Lady Indians’ conference championship hopes alive.

“They forced us to change our game a little bit, which was fun and a challenge, too,” said D-B coach Haley Price, whose team is tied with Daniel Boone atop the league standings. “We had to speed it up and we had to run a quicker offense than we usually do. We had to find different shots, but the girls adapted on the fly better than they ever have. I was really proud of them.”

View Todd Brase’s photos from the match

Senior middle blocker Hannah Watson had 16 kills and three blocks and Meg Maynor added 13 kills for D-B (16-5, 8-1). Sithney Wolfe and Sarah Moore each had 10 kills and Rylee Waye recorded four with 26 assists. Mackenzie Cummings contributed 16 assists.

On the defensive end, junior libero Zoie Larkins had 28 digs and made just two serve-receive errors. Carly Shell totaled 17 digs, Mykenzie Templeton had 15 and Waye 14.

“Zoie’s consistency is the key to everything we do,” Price said. “The passing goes unnoticed, but we have one of the best serve-receiving teams as far as making opportunities for our hitters. You can’t do anything with the pass and the dig and she’s all over it.”

The loss knocked the Lady Hilltoppers (24-9, 6-3) out of the race for the Big 6 title, but they can still be a big factor in playing the spoiler role on Tuesday against Boone.

“That was a tough one to lose, but I really feel like they left it all out there,” Science Hill coach Laura Cook said. “I felt like we fought and that’s what I like to see. That’s what it should be and that’s when it’s fun.”

With her team trailing late in the third set, Cook received a rare yellow card, and it sparked the Lady ’Toppers. Science Hill, down 24-19, rallied to forge a 24-24 tie before D-B shut the door.

The momentum-killers for Science Hill likely were a handful of critical service errors that ended rallies and gave the Lady Indians the opportunities to regain control of the set.

In the fourth, Science Hill grabbed a 23-22 lead and had everything going its way, but one of those service errors curtailed the rally and opened the door for D-B.

The Tribe did not miss the chance.

“This is a big week and our next match is Senior Night, so our girls are already getting a little bit emotional,” Price said. “But we can play as long as they still want to at this point.”

Claire Thomas and Loren Grindstaff each had 13 kills for Science Hill. Ella Gay and Riley Layton added six apiece. Alyssa Neal had 20 assists and Jesse Franks recorded 18.

The defense for both teams was outstanding and the numbers reflected it.

Sara Whynot led Science Hill’s defense with 19 digs, McKenzie Clark had 14 and Layton had 13. Lexi Kalogeros chipped in nine, and Layton and Neal each had six.

Grindstaff had eight blocks and Gay totaled five.


Science Hill visits Boone on Tuesday when D-B hosts Tennessee High. Both matches are set to begin at 6 p.m.