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Dobyns-Bennett punches ticket to District 1-AAA championship game

Jeff Birchfield • Oct 3, 2018 at 10:08 PM

JOHNSON CITY — The Dobyns-Bennett volleyball team remembered the bad feeling from a year ago when Science Hill ended its season in the District 1-AAA tournament.

The Lady Indians got a measure of revenge Wednesday night by beating the homestanding Lady Hilltoppers in straight sets (25-22, 28-26, 25-22) at this year's tournament. Dobyns-Bennett advanced to Thursday's championship round at 7 p.m. and earned a berth in next week’s region tournament.

Senior Courtney Whitson, who didn't play in last year's tournament due to a knee injury, made up for her lost time with 13 kills, including a pair of timely blasts in the final set. She talked about advancing to the next round.

"That feels amazing. It was a chip off our shoulder after how Science Hill put us out last year," Whitson said. "We remembered that feeling. I wasn't even playing and I remembered that feeling. I was on the bench, and it's just amazing to be playing again."

Science Hill will try to stave off elimination in an early game at 5:30 p.m. against Daniel Boone, which beat Tennessee High 3-0 in Wednesday's late match.

Hannah Watson led the Lady Indians overall with 16 kills and four blocks. Rylee Waye had 36 assists and eight digs, while Staley Humphries led the way defensively with 16 digs.

Other leaders included Chloe Harless with 14 digs and three aces, while Carly Shell added 12 digs.

"Our back row came up with some great digs," Dobyns-Bennett coach Megan Devine said. "Then, we put it in our setter's hands and we were able to score with our middles tonight. All season, everybody knows that Courtney and Hannah are our horses and we're going to feed them until they're stopped. It got to the point in the game where it was do or die, and they said enough is enough and put it away."

Megan Maynor and Caroline Cable finished with six and five kills, respectively.

For the Lady ’Toppers, Meghan Carroll led the defensive effort with 18 digs. Jesse Franks had seven kills and nine digs, while Riley Layton had six kills and six digs. Ella Gay and Attie Forbes also finished with six kills apiece in a balanced attack.

Other leaders were Alyssa Smith with 18 assists, followed by Chloe Smith with six digs and eight assists. Science Hill came back to tie late in the first and second sets and had an early lead in the third set.

"We just couldn't quite finish," Science Hill coach Laura Cook said. "It could have gone either way and in the first game, we had three errors in the end. They're a good team and you have to bring it. When it's 24-23, you have to finish. We've been on both ends of that game. We fought tonight and didn't quit, but it just wasn't our night."

Daniel Boone 3, Tennessee High 0

Jaycie Jenkins had a double-double of 11 kills and 14 digs to lead the Lady 'Blazers (25-17, 25-23, 25-23) over the Lady Vikings in an elimination match.

Boone got out to a 23-9 lead in the first set before Tennessee High reeled off the next seven points. The Lady 'Blazers closed that set out and then battled to win the next two closely contested sets.

"Last night, she (Jenkins) was getting blocked, so we struggled as an entire team," Boone coach Chelsea Spivey said. "Tonight, she was able to get some kills and get some momentum for us. Our setter was doing well spreading the ball. We had an even number across the board with our stats. The defense played well tonight, and we were able to place our blocks."

McKenna Dietz had 31 assists, while Riley Brinn had 15 digs and two aces. Other leaders included Greyson Stevens with seven kills and four blocks, Abbi Herbert with seven kills, Mackenzie Sweigart with five kills and two blocks, and Dannah Persinger with four kills and three blocks.

The Lady ’Blazers will face Science Hill for the sixth time this season. Boone has a 3-2 edge, although the Lady 'Toppers won a 3-1 match Tuesday night.

"We should know each other well," Spivey said. "They run a fast offense and they're good defensively. When you're not able to get kills you're used to getting, sometimes it's frustrating. Hopefully, we can get some kills going and get some momentum."

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