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Science Hill thwarts Boone's Big 6 title hopes

Tanner Cook • Oct 2, 2019 at 1:14 AM

JOHNSON CITY — Science Hill’s volleyball team, playing with nothing to lose, ended up with arguably its biggest win of the year on Tuesday.

The Lady Hilltoppers earned a 17-25, 25-20, 25-23, 25-18 Big 6 victory over Daniel Boone that knocked the Lady Trailblazers out of a share of the conference title.

Science Hill (25-9, 7-3) had already locked down the third seed for next week’s District 1-AAA tournament at Volunteer. However, Boone (24-5, 8-2) could have tied Dobyns-Bennett for the conference title — its first since 1995 and first ever in Class AAA.

After the loss and D-B’s win over Tennessee High on Tuesday, the Lady Trailblazers are the second seed.

“We started so slow in the first game, but they just kept it together and played really well the rest of the way,” Science Hill coach Laura Cook said. “You couldn’t tell that we had lost the first game as bad as we did and we showed some fight towards the end. ...

“We kept points alive all night. That’s tough to do, especially against Boone, because they’re athletic and they keep it alive, too.

“We really wanted to be aggressive,” Cook added.

Science Hill recorded nine blocks, led by Ella Gay’s four and Loren Grindstaff’s three. Offensively, Claire Thomas had 13 kills, Sara Whynot 10, Grindstaff nine, Gay seven, Riley Layton six and Jesse Franks four.

Franks also had 26 assists and Alyssa Neal tallied 21.

Science Hill’s defense got to just about every ball to keep the point alive. Lexi Kalogeros had 13 digs, Whynot 11, Layton 10, Kenzie Clark eight and Franks seven.

“We came out with a lot of nervous energy and we were moving fast and playing aggressive in the first set,” Boone coach Chelsea Baker said. “After that, I don’t know if we got comfortable or what. We could not get anything going. Our block was off, defense couldn’t pick up, we couldn’t get a hit the whole game.

“Their block played so well. Even when they didn’t block us, their defense was everywhere. We would think we were going to get a point and then they’d come up out of nowhere and get it back over the net.

“Great job by them on the hustle,” Baker added. “We just let our guard down.”

The offensive numbers were not up to usual standards for Boone. Riley Brinn and Jaycie Jenkins were the kill leaders with nine apiece, Mackenzie Sweigart had seven, and Dannah Persinger and Greyson Stevens each notched six.

McKenna Dietz still produced a double-double of 33 assists and 16 digs. Jenkins chipped in with 11 digs and Laken Jones had 14.

Boone committed 21 hitting errors and 10 service errors.

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