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Defending champ Radford stops Gate City in state quarters

Tanner Cook • Nov 17, 2019 at 2:30 AM

RADFORD — Gate City saw its volleyball season come to an end Saturday at the hands of defending VHSL Class 2 champion Radford.

The Lady Blue Devils fell 25-21, 25-18, 25-12 at Radford High School.

The Lady Bobcats advanced to Tuesday’s state semifinals to face Floyd County, which upended Union in Saturday’s quarterfinals.

“Closing out on the block has been a struggle all season for us,” said Gate City coach Amy Reed. “In the first game, we came out aggressive, but if you can’t hold that intensity throughout the season, day in and day out, we’re going to struggle.”

Senior setter Kaley Jenkins led Gate City (18-12) with 18 assists. Senior outside hitter Kinslee Hammonds finished with eight kills and junior outside hitter Sarah Thompson topped off her season with seven kills and eight digs.

Ashley Stanley also chipped in with six kills and nine assists.

The Lady Bobcats trailed only early in the first set against Gate City.

The double-hit call proved to be a killer for the Lady Blue Devils, who saw the call end multiple runs. One example came late in the second set when Gate City had closed what was a 19-9 deficit to 23-18.

“We were right there and you take away a few ball-handling errors, we may win that first set,” noted Reed, who loses five seniors but returns most of her starting varsity for next season.

“Radford made more plays than us and that’s why they’re moving on. ... The returners on this team need to have a bad taste in their mouth. They have to keep it there for a whole year. It needs to drive them to help them be better prepared for the season come next fall.”

Kara Armentrout led the Radford offense with nine kills, and Laney Kline and Charlie Dietz each had eight. Trinity Adams had 34 assists and Armentrout also had 11 digs.