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D-B routs West, clinches back-to-back Class AAA tournament berths

Tanner Cook • Oct 18, 2019 at 1:50 AM

KINGSPORT — The Dobyns-Bennett volleyball team is going back to Murfreesboro for a second straight season after dominating Knoxville’s West and sweeping to a 25-12, 25-13, 25-7 Class AAA sectional victory on Thursday inside the Buck Van Huss Dome.

The Lady Indians didn’t even need a full 60 minutes to dispatch the Lady Rebels. West made the early mistake of putting a single block on Hannah Watson, and the senior middle blocker feasted on it.

This will be the 11th state tournament appearance for D-B (22-8) and its fifth this decade.

“We were very prepared today,” Lady Indians coach Haley Price said. “With fall break, the girls came in early and got a full serve practice. They really showed it out there. They came out and showed no fear and felt no pressure. They played all out.”

West (27-8) was in the hole from the start of every set. D-B built leads of 8-1, 7-1 and 12-1, respectively, to start each. The Lady Rebels faced an uphill battle on the offensive side, too, because they simply could not get past the Tribe’s block most of the night.

Watson finished with 12 kills and four blocks. Staley Humphries had eight kills and 13 digs, and Rylee Waye completed another double-double with 13 digs and 30 assists.

Zoie Larkins quarterbacked the D-B defense with 20 digs. Sarah Moore threw in seven digs and Carly Shell had six.

“Our girls took advantage of that single block tonight,” Price said. “They spoke this (going to state) into existence.

“They put that poster over there (on the bleachers) with a

‘ ’Boro bound’ bus on it, and I told them they better back it up if they’re going to put it up. We’re ’Boro bound on Monday.”

“When they put a single block on us, that gave us an opportunity to kill it every time,” Watson said.

“It feels great to go back. We’ve had tough matches all season with Boone. (Boone) is great competition and a good team, but we are, too.

“We were pretty prepared going into this match,” Watson added, “and this group of girls is just amazing.”