Nine Straight For Wildcats

Nine Straight For Wildcats

ABOVE, RC senior hitter Graceon Armstrong dives for a dig while teammates McKenzie Hines (7) and Jaden McCoy (2) watch. AT RIGHT, Wildcat sophomore setter and opposite hitter Krissy Whitesell reaches for the ball. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photos)

Nine Straight For Wildcats
Nine Straight For Wildcats

RC JUNIOR outside hitter Jaydyn Clemmer collects a dig while teammate Grace Cauley waits in the center of the court. (Stephanie Mikels Blevins photo)

RC Netters Improve To 5-0 In Valley District

In a busy week, the Rockbridge County High School volleyball team won three home matches in four days last week, defeating Salem, Broadway and Harrisonburg to extend its winning streak to nine matches.

RC (13-1 overall, 5-0 Valley District) started the week with a 3-0 nondistrict win over Salem last Monday.

The Wildcats trailed by as many as six points in the third set and were down 20-18, but they ended the match on a 7-0 run in defeating the Spartans by a score of 25-18, 25-20, 25-20. Salem fell to 5-7.

With the win, the Wildcats completed a sweep of the regular-season series with Salem, a strong hitting team that RC had beaten 3-1 in its first road match of the season on Sept. 5 at Salem.

Jaydyn Clemmer led RC with 27 kills and added 17 digs and two aces. Other RC leaders were Graceon Armstrong with 11 kills, 19 digs and two blocks; Krissy Whitesell with 27 assists and two aces, and McKenzie Hines with 11 digs.

Maddie Hall had eight kills and 11 digs for Salem, Meredith Hicks added seven kills and seven digs, and Brooke Baxley had 14 digs and two kills.

RC head coach Amanda McCoy gave credit to the Spartans for challenging the Wildcats. “Their hitting was a little bit more improved than the first time we played them,” she said. “They were definitely getting more touches on our blocks, which is certainly something you have to adjust to, especially when some of your leading hitters are getting blocked. It makes them a little bit more timid. That’s something we’re working on a little bit.”

McCoy said that Hines, Emma Lawson, Armstrong and Clemmer all played very well. The RC coach also praised Rachel Ferris for stepping up in her role as a right side hitter.

RC 3, Broadway 1

Overcoming a sluggish start, the Wildcats defeated Broadway 3-1 in Valley District action on Tuesday of last week in Lexington.

The Wildcats lost the first set, struggling with errors and missed serves, but they battled to win the second set, pulling away with kills from Armstrong before Clemmer made a deep kill to end the set. RC comfortably captured the final two sets for a 24-26, 25-22, 25-12, 25-8 victory. With a win over Spotswood on Thursday, the Gobblers ended the week at 4-12 overall and 2-3 in district action.

Last Tuesday’s match consisted of a lot of long rallies, with players from both teams hustling after balls.

Clemmer led RC with 22 kills, Armstrong had 16 kills and 14 digs, and Whitesell dished out 39 assists. Other RC leaders were Hines with 16 digs, Lawson with 10 digs, Aiyana Cooper with four kills and four blocks, Grace Cauley with three blocks, and Ashley Hostetter with three aces.

Leaders for the Gobblers were Ellie Witmer with seven kills, Hannah Phares with six kills, Hannah Beck with 18 digs and Chloe Copenhaver with 18 assists.

“We just started slow,” observed McCoy. “It’s always tough when you don’t take care of your side, and we didn’t do a very good job of that in the first set.”

“I think it was a good opportunity for us to have a little bit of a wakeup call, and it’s better to happen now than later in the year when you’re a little bit further down the stretch,” McCoy added. “I think it’s always a good lesson to keep you humble.”

RC 3, HHS 0

The Wildcats cruised to a 3-0 win over Harrisonburg in Valley District action on Thursday night in Lexington.

Each set was close early on, but the Wildcats pulled away with strong hitting and serving, and they endured long rallies to capture a 25-13, 25-13, 25-11 victory.

Armstrong led RC with 17 kills and added 14 digs and three blocks, while Clemmer had 10 kills, 14 digs and three aces. Other Wildcat leaders were Whitesell with 32 assists, Cauley with six aces, and Cooper with four blocks. Later in the match, the Wildcats rested their starters and got some of their younger players in, getting quality minutes from freshmen Jaden McCoy and Rachel Hines.

Coach McCoy said Jaden McCoy did a good job of stepping in as a right side hitter, “which is a position we’re still looking to see who is the best option there.”

Leaders for the Blue Streaks (4-10, 0-5) were Amelia Mitchell with four kills and three blocks, Abby McCollum with nine digs, and Maya Waid with seven assists.

Pleased with how her team responded after struggling two nights earlier, Coach McCoy said, “I think that, even though it’s not always ideal to have a bad night, I think that having a bad night sometimes resets you to focus a little bit more, and I think that helped a lot. I thought that we were able to breathe a little bit more as well because sometimes handling the stress of not having a loss in any capacity is difficult. We had some players that we were able to rest a little bit tonight, too.”

The Wildcats were scheduled to play at Waynesboro yesterday and will continue district action at Spotswood on Thursday, starting with the junior varsity match at 6 p.m. On Saturday they’ll play in the Tournament of Champions at Patrick Henry High School in Roanoke. They’ll return to district action at home on Tuesday when they play host to Turner Ashby, starting with the junior varsity match at 5:30 p.m.

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