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Lady Bears jump-start season by sweeping Pioneers

KEVIN MAYS, [email protected] • Aug 22, 2018 at 12:47 AM

LEBANON — Union sent a message Tuesday.

The Lady Bears looked to be in midseason form with their 3-0, volleyball season-opening win over a pesky Lebanon squad.

Bolstered by returning all-state front-line player Emili Brooks’ 19 kills and 11 digs, Union used solid play at the net to take a 25-16, 26-24, 25-13 nondistrict win over the host Lady Pioneers.

“Yes, Emili is awesome. But we have a lot of good hitters on the team that I think can dish the ball, too,” said Union coach Kim Moore. “I think that we’ve got to keep teams honest. I think we have to keep our options open and stay flexible and be more dynamic offensively.”

The Lady Bears got offensive punch from Meagan Blagg and Jayda Smith. Blagg finished with nine kills and Smith had eight.

Zoe Brooks added 34 assists, and Audrey Gilliam finished with eight digs for Union.

Moore said while her team’s attack is solid, the Lady Bears still have plenty to work on.

“Defense and serve-receive is a work in progress,” Moore said. “It’s not very cohesive out there yet and that’s to be expected with the first game. One game at a time.”

Averie Peace led Lebanon’s attack with seven kills and Kayla Bollinger had 15 assists.

Lebanon coach Dennis Price said he knew his team faced a challenge in opening the season against Union. He said overall his team fared well.

“We knew it would be a tough game for us out of the gate,” Price said. “We fought hard the first set. We came back and really played well in the second set. In the third set we got down a little bit and it hurt us. We tried to get up a little bit, but the momentum had already shifted.

“We can’t complain against the overall match at all, especially this early.”

Lebanon is back in action Wednesday at Wise Central.

Union is off until Monday when the Lady Bears hit the road again, this time to Bristol to take on Virginia High.

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