RC Drops Volleyball Five-Setter After Spotswood’s Comeback

By: 
Jonathan Schwab

Thursday, Oct. 12 – Despite a strong start, the Rockbridge County High School volleyball team couldn’t hold off a scrappy Spotswood team, as the Wildcats fell 3-2 in Valley District action on Thursday in Lexington.

In a match that lasted nearly two hours, RC (13-3 overall, 7-3 district) won the first two sets, but the Blazers (15-3, 6-2) battled back by winning the final three sets to prevail 17-25, 14-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-12. The two teams split the regular-season series. In the previous meeting on Sept. 19 at Spotswood, RC had won 3-1.

This time, the Wildcats, coming of a 3-0 win at Waynesboro on Tuesday, were playing without middle hitter Graceon Armstrong, out with a back injury. RC held a slim lead early in the first set before going on a 7-0 run on Erika Paredes’ serve to go up 18-9. The Wildcats finished the set with strong serving and net play.

In the second set, RC grabbed an early seven-point lead and gradually extended its advantage to double digits, playing consistently and benefiting from Spotswood errors.

The Blazers jumped to a 7-3 lead in the third set, powered by the net play of Sarah Gardner, who led all players with 20 kills. RC tied the set at 11-11, but Spotswood responded with a 6-1 run. The Wildcats extended the set after winning five consecutive set points, but Gardner ended it with a kill.

The fourth set was similar, as Spotswood held a narrow lead before pulling away. RC won three set points before hitting the ball into the net.

In the fifth set, the Wildcats erased a two-point deficit and took a 6-5 lead, but Spotswood won the next three points. RC battled back to tie it at 9-9, but the Blazers attacked the net and took a 14-11 lead. Keely Doyle made a kill to prolong the match, but Gardner ended it with a kill.

Doyle led RC with 13 kills and added three blocks, Jaydyn Clemmer had 12 kills and 24 digs, and Hannah Burch recorded 10 kills, six blocks, 19 digs and two aces. Other RC leaders were Kennedy Clemmer with 42 assists and 19 digs, Jaden Harrison with 18 digs, and Meredith Lawhorn with two aces.

Other than Gardner, Spotswood’s leaders were Lauren Fridley with 10 kills and Morgan Sterling with 41 assists and 21 digs.

The Wildcats will continue district play at home against Broadway next Thursday, starting with junior varsity action at 5:30 p.m.

For the full story from this week’s action and photos from Thursday’s match, please see our Oct. 18 newspaper.

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