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Lady Hilltoppers fall short in Big 6 match at D-B

Tanner Cook • Sep 27, 2019 at 1:00 PM

KINGSPORT—The Dobyns-Bennett volleyball team took care of business on Thursday night inside the Buck Van Huss Dome with a thrilling four-set victory over Big 6 rival Science Hill, prevailing 25-15, 15-25, 26-24 and 26-24.

The win keeps the Lady Indians’ conference championship hopes alive as they remain tied with Daniel Boone atop the standings.

“They forced us to change our game a little bit, which was fun and a challenge, too,” D-B head coach Haley Price said. “We had to speed it up and we had to run a quicker offense than we usually do. We had to find different shots, but the girls adapted on fly better than they ever have. I was really proud of them.”

For D-B (16-5, 8-1), senior middle blocker Hannah Watson had 16 kills and three blocks while Meg Maynor had 13. Sithney Wolfe and Sarah Moore each had 10 and Rylee Waye had four.

Waye had 26 assists and Mackenzie Cummings had 16.

On the defensive end, junior libero Zoie Larkins had 28 digs and made just two serve receive errors. Carly Shell had 17 digs, Mykenzie Templeton had 15 and Waye had 14.

“Zoie’s consistency is the key to everything we do,” Price said. “The passing goes unnoticed, but we have one of the best serve-receiving teams as far as making opportunities for our hitters. You can’t do anything with the pass and the dig and she’s all over it.”

For the Lady Hilltoppers (24-9, 6-3), the loss knocks them out of the race for the conference title, but they can still be a big factor in playing the spoiler role on Tuesday against Boone.

“That was a tough one to lose, but I really feel like they left it all out there,” Science Hill coach Laura Cook said. “I felt like we fought and that’s what I like to see. That’s what it should be and that’s when it’s fun.”

Cook was dealt a rare yellow card late in the third set with her team down and it sparked the Lady ’Toppers. Science Hill was down 24-19 and came back to tie the set up at 24 before D-B shut the door.

The momentum killers for Science Hill could probably be pointed at a handful of critical service errors late that ended rallies and gave D-B the opportunities to gain control again in the set.

In the fourth, Science Hill grabbed a 23-22 lead and had everything going its way, but one of those service errors ended the rally and opened the door for D-B.

The Tribe did not miss that opportunity.

“This is a big week and our next match is senior night, so our girls are already getting a little bit emotional,” Price said. “But we can play as long as they still want to at this point.”

For Science Hill, Claire Thomas and Loren Grindstaff each had 13 kills while Ella Gay and Riley Layton had six kills apiece.

Alyssa Neal had 20 assists and Jesse Franks had 18.

The defense for both teams was outstanding and the numbers reflected it.

Sara Whynot led the Lady ’Topper defense with 19 digs, McKenzie Clark had 14 and Layton had 13. Lexi Kalogeros had nine and Layton and Neal each had six.

Grindstaff had eight blocks on the evening while Gay totaled five.

Science Hill will travel to Boone on Tuesday while D-B will host Tennessee High. Both matches are set to begin at 6 p.m.

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