KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett avenged a season- opening loss Thursday with a key 25-11, 12-25, 25-17, 25-20 Big 6 Conference volleyball win over Science Hill at the Buck Van Huss Dome.
The win moved the Lady Indians (5-2, 4-2) into a second- place tie with Science Hill (10-3, 4-2) behind conference-leading Daniel Boone.
“It was very important,” Dobyns-Bennett senior Meg Maynor said of the win over the Tribe’s conference rival. “Especially with the district (tournament) coming up, it helps our placement and boosts our confidence a ton and that’s what we need. Volleyball is a momentum sport.”
Maynor helped her team’s confidence with an all-around solid game. She finished with 11 kills, three blocks, three service aces and eight digs in the win.
Fellow senior Zoie Larkins finished with eight kills and 11 digs, while Inari Phillips had seven kills and Whitley Maupin chipped in five kills for the Lady Indians.
The Tribe also got 13 assists from Dakota Vaiese and 11 assists and nine digs from Jessie Odle.
Libero Rachel Falin had a stellar night on the defense for the Dobyns-Bennett with 22 digs, while defensive specialist Hannah Day finished with 15 digs and four aces and Jordan Guthrie recorded three blocks on the front line.
EVENING THE SCORE
Dobyns-Bennett first-year coach Patricia Dygert said picking up the win over the Lady Hilltoppers was a big win for her squad after losing to Science Hill in the season opener in the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, which gave her team no time to prepare.
“It was a big opener for us in our first game of the season. No preseason, that was our first game and it was a wake-up call for us,” Dygert said. “(Tonight) we were ready to go and to play them. They played great defense, but our girls were ready to fight.”
SLOW START FOR THE ‘TOPPERS
Dobyns-Bennett took advantage of Science Hill’s slow start in the opening game of the match, roaring out to a 12-5 advantage and coasting the rest of the way in the opener — thanks to solid play at the net, strong serve-receive and seven kill errors and three service errors from the Lady ‘Toppers.
“It was a tough night,” said Science Hill coach Laura Cook. “It was a big game and we had a lot of mistakes and they played a great game. It was just a tough night.
“Give credit it to them. They came out swinging.”
Science Hill came back in the second game to a big win, in major part because of a 10-1 scoring run powered by two kills and two blocks from Loren Grindstaff and two more kills from Sara Whynot.
Grindstaff finished with 11 kills and three blocks for the Lady Hilltoppers, while Autumn Holmes had 11 kills and two blocks.
Whynot finished with nine kills and 18 digs.
Science Hill also got 19 assists, nine digs and one block from Kinley Norris. Alyssa Neal had 17 assists and 10 digs, with Jesse Franks adding 15 digs.
The teams kept things close in the third and fourth sets with Dobyns-Bennett pulling away late in each to seal the win.