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JV volleyball hands Reagan first loss

After being quarantined, Brittani Steger got to coach her first match of the season in the biggest match of the season to this point – at undefeated Reagan on Dec. 1.

Both teams put spotless records on the line. The Raiders were 4-0 after 2-0 victories over Glenn, Reynolds, West Forsyth and East Forsyth.

After missing the first three matches, the first thing Steger saw was Davie getting smacked in the mouth. The War Eagles would recover, taking the hard-fought battle 25-23, 25-21.

“We didn’t play the best when we started out,” Steger said. “Everybody was getting acclimated to me coaching and we’re trying to finally put all the pieces together.”

When the Raiders carved out an 18-9 lead in the first set, there did not seem any way Davie would win in two sets for the fourth time this season. But then came a raucous charge that saw the War Eagles rip off a 16-5 run.

“Then we got our head on straight and played good,” she said. “That was huge.”

Gracie Wilson and Hailey Johnson were integral parts of the improbable comeback.

“Gracie had a slow start, but then she really stepped up,” she said. “She was getting kills, she was blocking and was being a leader like I need her to be. Hailey picked up the communication, got everyone going and tried to keep everybody motivated.”

Something should be said about Mikaylah Hutton, who stepped into a bigger role with a teammate quarantined.

“We had another person have to get quarantined, so we had Mikaylah playing middle,” Steger said. “She did well there, so we’ll probably see her for another week or more in the middle. She normally plays right side. She did great and she’s only going to improve.”

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Two days later, visiting Reynolds shocked Davie in the first set. No matter. The War Eagles won the next two without strain.

The first set ended 25-23, snapping a long Davie streak. (It had won 30 straight sets dating to 2019.) It was anti-climactic from there as Davie cruised 25-8, 25-9.

Besides middle Wilson and libero Johnson, the primary players for a team that is 5-0 with a 16-match winning streak are setter Lauren O’Connor, Caroline Lakey, Melia Privett, Hutton, setter Macey Smith and Camden Hurst, who is coming off an ankle injury.

Notes: The Demons fell to 1-5, the lone win over Glenn. But they are a much-improved team, taking Davie and West Forsyth to three sets. … Davie swept Reynolds, including a 2-0 decision in the season opener.