‘Cats Cruising Through Valley

‘Cats Cruising Through Valley

AT LEFT, RC sophomore middle hitter Aiyana Cooper jumps to spike the ball while teammate Jaydyn Clemmer (6) watches during the Wildcats’ 3-0 win over Spotswood on Tuesday of last week. Cooper made a kill to end the second set.

‘Cats Cruising Through Valley

BELOW LEFT, Clem-mer goes for a dig while her head coach, Amanda McCoy, watches. Clemmer had 12 kills and 20 digs.

‘Cats Cruising Through Valley

BELOW RIGHT, Wildcat sophomore hitter Grace Cauley strikes the ball while teammate Graceon Armstrong
(13) watches. Cauley recorded three kills, three blocks and three aces. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photos)

The Rockbridge County High School volleyball team won a pair of 3-0 Valley District matches last week, defeating Spotswood last Tuesday in Lexington before winning at Turner Ashby on Thursday.

On Tuesday, the Wildcats overcame a scrappy Spotswood team. The Blazers nearly came back from a nine-point deficit in the second set, but the Wildcats (12-1 overall, 3-0 district) prevailed, with Aiyana Cooper making a kill to clinch the set.RC won by a final score of 25-13, 25-23, 25-16. Spotswood ended the week with a record of 5-6 overall and 2-1 in the district.

RC’s Graceon Armstrong led all players with 13 kills and served up three aces. “Graceon had a good night,” RC head coach Amanda McCoy said.

Other Wildcat leaders were Jaydyn Clemmer with 12 kills and 20 digs, Krissy Whitesell with 29 assists and two aces, Grace Cauley with three kills, three blocks and three aces, and Meredith Lawhorn with three aces. Freshman McKenzie Hines continued to step up in her new role as libero. “I think that she did a really good job,” McCoy said of Hines and her adjustment to the defensive position.

Gabrielle Atwell had five kills and four aces for the Blazers, while Suzanne Fonadel recorded five kills, Bethany Martz dished out nine assists, and Bria Berriochoa collected 14 digs.

Last year, RC and Spotswood split a pair of regular-season matches, with the Wildcats winning 3-1 at home before falling 3-2 at Spotswood. Both teams graduated several players.

Of the Blazers, who have several tall and athletic players, McCoy said, “I didn’t expect them to come in with anything less they have in the past. They pass well. They move the ball well.”

The match started well, with RC going on a 9-0 run to take a 19-8 lead in the first set. Despite hitting “a little bit of a lull” in the second set, said McCoy, her players did “a good job of adapting.”

The RC coach added that the Wildcats have been “really trying to focus on the word ‘focus.’ That’s kind of our word of the week. I felt like we did a good job of doing that.”

RC 3, TA 0

The Wildcats earned a 25-20, 25-9, 25-14 win at Turner Ashby on Thursday.

Armstrong led RC with 11 kills, four blocks and six digs, while Whitesell dished out 14 assists and had six aces and four digs. Clemmer added eight kills, four aces and 11 digs, and Cauley had four kills and four aces.

Leaders for the Knights (5-13, 2-1) were Emma Eckard with four aces and three kills, Leah Kiracofe with three kills, and Chloe Cave with 10 digs.

In a busy week with three home matches, the Wildcats were scheduled to take on Salem on Monday before facing Broadway yesterday. RC continues district action at home against Harrisonburg on Thursday before traveling to Waynesboro on Tuesday. Both nights will start with junior varsity action at 5:30 p.m.

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