Davie volleyball ranked No. 1 in state

Published 9:52 am Thursday, September 21, 2017

There’s nothing but good news coming from Davie’s undefeated, undaunted and undeterred volleyball team.

A revelation appeared to confirm that Davie’s off to the greatest start in its 41-year history. In the maxpreps.com poll, the War Eagles are ranked No. 1 in the state for all classifications. In the Central Piedmont Conference, it looks like it’s Davie, Reagan and everybody else. Reagan (11-0, 2-0 CPC) is ranked 13th overall and among the top 10 in 4-A.

“The conference championship banners came in (Sept. 13),” coach Amber Brandon said. “Volleyball hasn’t put one up in a long time, and they want a 2017 on that banner.”


Davie overpowered visiting Reynolds in the CPC opener on Sept. 12. The Demons (7-3 overall) had won six in a row before coming to Mocksville and getting outscored 75-20 over three sets.

“The best thing was, my kids didn’t take it easy,” Brandon said after Davie’s 29th straight win over Reynolds. “They’re compeittive. It doesn’t matter who we’re playing, they’re playing to get better and they want to look good. So even when it’s not a super strong opponent, it’s still a fun game to watch.”


The War Eagles hosted a behemoth program in nonconference play on Sept. 13. Mt. Tabor, the former longtime league rival, entered with a 14-match winning streak in the series, along with 27 wins in 28 matches against Davie. But Davie skunked the Spartans (25-13, 25-18, 25-17), the masterful showing stopping a six-match winning streak for Tabor, which had won five straight in three sets.

It was also the pupil beating the teacher. Tabor’s Robyn Wesselman was Brandon’s coach during her days at Forbush.

“It was exciting for my kids,” Brandon said following Davie’s first win over Tabor in six years, the last coming in 2011 when Becky Miller was the coach.

Brandon appreciates as much as anybody what Tyra Galloway has meant to Davie’s big-time season. She also understands if you’re going to win a championship, you need an excellent setter, and junior Lauren Grooms helps set Davie apart.

“Lauren had a really, really good night,” she said. “We know with Tyra, everyone’s goal is to take her out of our offense, and Lauren did really good under pressure, understanding when she could force the ball to Tyra and when she had to trust her other hitters. She made some sets that changed the game.

“Tyra is a phenomenal athlete. I feel like she gets all the spotlight. But what’s different about Davie this year is we’re six rotations strong.”

The rotation includes sophomore Kayla Moore and junior Abby Wilkins.

“Kayla stepped up,” she said. “She’s had a hard time hitting the ball down the line early in the season, and she had a couple huge kills at crucial moments early in the game when it was still tight. Abby, our other middle (opposite Galloway), had a couple big blocks.”

Davie had little trouble overcoming an outside hitter, Natalie Tyson, who is headed to East Carolina.

“We knew she was going to score,” Brandon said. “We just knew we had to control everyone else, and that’s what we did for six rotations. Tonight was the definition of a team effort.”


Davie continued to be amazing at West Forsyth on Sept. 14. The white-hot War Eagles stomped the Titans (8-6, 1-1 CPC) in three sets.

Galloway accumulated seven solo blocks and 16 total blocks. That’s a substantial number, “especally in three sets,” Brandon pointed out.

Grooms collected 21 assists. Moore (six kills, four aces) and Zoey Clark (five kills) supplied 11 kills as Davie (13-0, 2-0 CPC) ran its winning streak over West to five.

“(Moore and Clark) played really well, and that completely changes the game for us when those two sophomore outsides can step up,” Brandon said. “When Kayla’s serving like that and Tyra is on the front row, it’s a hard rotation to stop us in.”

Notes: West had won three of four before meeting Davie. … The War Eagles captured all nine sets for the week. … Eight of their 13 wins have come in three sets.