Davie volleyball gets critical win over West; but loses Privett to injury

Published 1:48 pm Tuesday, September 19, 2023

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By Brian Pitts

Enterprise Record

Two weeks after letting one slip away against East Forsyth, Davie’s volleyball team made amends when it hosted West Forsyth on Sept. 12.

This was one the War Eagles had to have, and they got it to stay in the hunt for second place in the Central Piedmont Conference. At that point, Reagan was 5-0, East Forsyth was second at 4-1 and Davie, West and Reynolds were tied for third at 3-2.

“We knew coming into the season that us, West Forsyth, East Forsyth and Reagan would be battling for the top spots, and with us losing to East, we felt like if we had any chance to finish in the top two, we were going to have to take care of West both times that we play them,” coach Amber Brandon said.

Davie 3, WI 0

Three days earlier in a road nonconference match, the War Eagles whipped West Iredell in three sets. Before this, they had suffered hiccups from the service line. But their serving game was humming in Statesville.

“We had struggled from the service line all year, so that’s what we’ve been focussing on,” Brandon said. “We want to serve aggressive. We don’t want to put free balls over the net. We’re a pretty good blocking team and we’re a really good defensive team, so we can’t miss serves. We didn’t miss many serves and that allowed us to find an offensive rhythm a lot faster. Malia Privett went on a huge run.”

Davie 3, WF 1

In the crucial match against West Forsyth, Davie roared out of the gate.

“Set one we played really, really well,” Brandon said. “It was probably the best that I’ve seen us play. We had a really good practice Monday, and set one was building off everything we had done (recently).”

But toward the end of the first set, Davie watched Privett suffer a season-ending knee injury.

“Malia went up and put the ball down on the 10-foot line,” Brandon said. “It was an amazing attack off an overpass. She came down funky on her left knee.”

Davie is now without a senior who played an integral role.

“She was a six-rotation outside,” Brandon said. “She never came off the floor. She was typically our first server. She played good defense. She had a huge serve-receive responsibility. It’s going to take more than one person to fill the shoes that she was wearing. We were just kind of figuring it out and things were clicking.”

For the War Eagles, it was somber watching their teammate go down. It affected their play in set two, when West evened the score at 1-1.

“We were in a lineup that we had never run,” Brandon said. “It was a combination of a new lineup, they were worried about their friend and their teammate, and they felt the pressure that this was a must-win game.”

The War Eagles could have folded. They did not. Caroline Lakey, Addison Wilson and Lauren O’Connor delivered as Davie snatched the last two sets to beat West for the sixth time in seven meetings.

“In set three, everybody kind of settled down and we made some lineup adjustments,” Brandon said. “Caroline had a new role and had a really good game. Addison had a little bit of a different role than what she is in in our normal lineup, and she played really well. Lauren made good decisions down the stretch and made adjustments to the way she plays the game and the way she sets the ball that helped hitters be successful. That was big for us.

“West is super young and we wanted to play fast. We felt like with West’s youth and inexperience that a fast pace might be something they struggle with.”

Notes: In a road nonconference match on Sept. 13, Davie lost 25-20, 25-19, 25-17 to Grimsley. It was the sixth straight win for the Whirlies, who improved to 11-3. … One day later in the CPC, Davie buried visiting Parkland 25-6, 25-6, 25-9. The Mustangs sank to 2-9, 0-6. … The week ended with Davie (8-4 overall) tied for third. Reagan is 6-0, East is 5-1 and Davie/West are tied at 4-2.