Her timely aces complemented another strong performance for middle blockers Hannah Watson and Courtney Whitson, who combined for 37 kills and eight blocks in the Lady Indians' 25-21, 25-18, 17-25, 19-25, 15-11 victory.
Watson's final numbers were 22 kills and four blocks. The Lady Indians (36-3) will host Farragut in the sectional round Thursday night with a state tournament berth on the line.
"I felt like the first two sets we were working together well," Watson said. "That third set, it just hit us where we weren't talking as much and we were making more errors than they were — but we came back together that fifth set. I'm glad we now get to play at home were we hopefully will have a big crowd."
It was Shell who gave the Lady Indians serious momentum in the fifth set with Dobyns-Bennett holding just an 8-7 lead before her timely serves. Those were her only two aces to go along with 22 digs.
"I think it's a focus thing. We all have that drive to win," Shell said. "We all came together as a team and we fought to the end. We were down on our serves on those two sets we lost. But God is so good and He put us together. We're a family and we play as one. When we play as one, we're tough to beat."
Staley Humphries, who finished with seven kills, 21 digs and a block, closed out the tough match by knocking down a kill from the left side. It came after a serious challenge thanks in large part to East's own formidable frontline, which included outside hitter Chloe Cole, who had 22 kills, and Katie Felknor.
"It was a tough game and the other team played great," Humphries said. "I prayed the whole time and it was a God thing. I couldn't have done it without my teammates and Jesus. It got frustrating, but you have to fight through it. We just stayed together as a team."
Dobyns-Bennett, which swept Morristown West 3-0 in the semifinals, appeared to be cruising to another easy victory after the first two sets. However, the Lady Hurricanes got out fast to win both the third and fourth sets before the Indians regained control in the fifth.
Whitson posted 15 kills, seven digs, four blocks and two aces. Chloe Harless had 37 digs and three aces, while Rylee Waye had 46 assists, 20 digs, three kills, three aces and a block.
Zoie Larkins added 10 kills and two aces, while Meg Maynor contributed with seven kills.
"Meg did a good job of putting the ball away for us," Dobyns-Bennett coach Megan Devine said. "We started to relax (when we got up two sets) and our serves started to break down a little. Morristown East is a good team and they're not going to back down. We had our backs against the wall, but we knew going into the fifth set, it was 0-0. I'm super proud of the girls. We've been in a lot of five-setters, but they find a way to win."
Dobyns-Bennett 3, Morristown West 0
Staley Humphries finished with 10 kills, 17 digs and four aces as the Lady Indians made quick work of the Lady Trojans with a 25-16, 25-16, 25-22 victory.
Hannah Watson had 12 kills and five blocks, while Courtney Whitson tallied 12 kills, two aces and a block. Other leaders were: Riley Waye with 31 assists and five digs, Chloe Harless with 14 digs, Zoie Larkins with 13 digs and Carly Shell with three aces and five digs.
Morristown East 3, Daniel Boone 0
The Lady 'Blazers battled back from a 23-18 deficit to fall just by a 25-23 margin in the first set. However, the homestanding Lady Hurricanes dominated the second set with a 25-11 win.
Boone take the early advantage in the third set, only to see East rally to cut the deficit to 18-17. The Lady 'Canes tied things at 22 before finally pulling ahead to win 26-24.
"A couple of those games were close," Daniel Boone coach Chelsea Spivey said. "We kind of fell apart in the second game. I changed up the rotation and we didn't adapt well to that. As a whole, we played hard and aggressive. They picked up a lot of our hits and were good all around."
Jaycie Jenkins led Daniel Boone with 11 kills and 21 digs. McKenna Dietz finished with 30 assists and 14 digs, while Greyson Stevens had seven kills, three blocks and 14 digs. Other leaders were Mackenzie Sweigart with five kills and three blocks, and Dannah Persinger with four blocks.
"We had a great season. We didn't expect to come in second during the regular season," Spivey said. "We only have one senior (Abbi Herbert), so I expect great things next year."