Volleyball team earns two wins

Published 9:24 am Thursday, October 6, 2016

By taking down West Forsyth and North Davidson last week, Davie’s varsity volleyball team all but locked up third place in the Central Piedmont Conference.

It could move into a tie for second with an upset win over Mt. Tabor this week. Third place will likely get Davie into the 4-A playoffs, but coach Amber Brandon isn’t taking any chances.

“If we could figure out a way to beat Tabor, we could really mess some people up,” she said. “We really don’t know (if third will secure a berth). It’s about your 22-match winning percentage.”

At home against West on Sept. 27, the War Eagles claimed the last two sets to win 3-1 – even though setter Lauren Grooms was out sick.

“That threw us off our game,” Brandon said. “But we banded together, stuck it out and won.”

Freshman Jessie Crosby and junior Kim Clemo had to step up. Crosby moved up from the JV.

“Jessie and Kim ran a 6-2,” she said. “Kim took up the slack on the blocking part when Lauren would have been front row, and Jessie helped with the back-row setting and did a phenomenal job.”

Senior Taylor Walton, who has committed to Lenoir-Rhyne, is the constant.

“She definitely dominates,” Brandon said. “She just figures out a way to get it done. There was one rally where she hit the ball five times in the same rally, which is mentally and physically exhausting.”

Two days later at North Davidson, the War Eagles won 3-1, giving them five wins in six matches.

It was 1-1 before Davie took the final two sets. Sophomore Emma Slabach iced it as Davie improved its records to 13-5 and 7-3.

“At the end, she’s the one who put the match away,” Brandon said. “We were struggling. We could not put a ball away. Emma found an open spot. She would tip the ball there. The defense would cheat to pick it up and she would hit the ball (with power). She was playing cat and mouse with them.”

Of the four sets Davie’s JV played against West Forsyth and North Davidson, three of them were nailbiters. The War Eagles won all of them to improve to 9-6 and 6-3. They’ve won seven of nine.

The scores against West were 25-23, 26-24. That avenged a 2-0 loss to the Titans on Sept. 1.

“We absolutely meshed better as a team this time,” coach Amanda Tingley said. “All the players worked hard for every point. We have come a long way from the last time we played West. I am really proud of the girls for earning the win this time.”

Give credit to Dakota Hutchins, Abby Sloan, Crosby, Hannah Shore, Allie Angel and Kayana Caldwell. Hutchins was especially good.

“Dakota really showed up to win,” Tingley said. “Her hustle was impressive.”

At N. Davidson, the scores were 26-24, 25-16. Hutchins and setter Crosby were difference-makers.

“We had a bit of a roller-coaster, but we definitely pulled together in the end,” she said. “We communicated well and our hitters made a lot of great shots.”