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Big-hitting Union sweeps Gate City in key Mountain 7 match

Kevin Mays • Sep 12, 2018 at 12:36 AM

GATE CITY — Union volleyball coach Kim Moore has been preaching about a balanced front-line attack since the season started.

Tuesday night, Moore got her wish.

Her three big hitters accounted for 35 kills in the Lady Bears’ key 3-0 Mountain 7 District win over the Gate City Blue Devils.

BALANCING ACT

“It was balanced. We could hit the ball from just about anywhere,” Moore said of her team’s front-line play.

Emili Brooks led the attack for Union (7-0, 2-0). The junior finished with 20 kills, three blocks and seven digs. Jayda Smith added eight kills and two blocks, and Meagan Blagg had seven kills.

Moore was happy with her team’s offensive attack, but she was just as happy with the defense in the 25-22, 25-19, 25-23 win.

“Give credit to our defense tonight. Gate City is a good team. I don’t take anything away from Gate City. Our defense just played hard tonight and made some big plays,” Moore said.

Audrey Gilliam led the defensive effort for Union with 16 digs. Zoe Brooks had 13 digs and 35 assists, and Abbi Dickenson finished with 12 blocks.

The defense came up particularly big in the first game and kept the Lady Bears in it. Gate City held the lead throughout the game until a kill from Smith tied it at 21.

Union closed out the set with a 4-1 scoring run.

“We battled back and that gave us the momentum right there and that was big for us,” Moore said.

WAKE-UP CALL

After taking the first set, Union kept the lead for all of the second.

The teams stayed close in the third set before Union built a 24-20 lead late and held off a short Gate City rally to take the win.

Gate City (6-4, 2-1) got 10 kills, two blocks and eight digs from Sarah Thompson, and Bel Sallee added five kills.

Kaley Jenkins added 25 assists and eight digs. Kinslee Hammonds came up with seven digs and three blocks and Aubrie Penley added 10 digs for the Lady Blue Devils.

Gate City coach Amy Reed said the loss for her team was an eye-opener against a solid squad.

“It’s definitely a wake-up call,” Reed said. “You realize, ‘I do have to go to town. I do have to go to work.’

“We’re going to keep growing and we’re going to get better.”

UP NEXT

Both teams face tough Mountain 7 District matches on Thursday when Union hosts Abingdon and Gate City travels to John Battle.

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