“We still aren’t firing on all cylinders,” Newberry said after watching Patrick Henry (21-2) dismantle Eastside 25-19, 25-17, 25-12 on Tuesday in the Region 1D tournament semifinals at Northwood. “I love that this time of year we aren’t at our peak.
“We still can keep clicking and pick it up a notch.”
Patrick Henry advanced to Wednesday’s Region 1D championship game to face fellow Hogoheegee District member Chilhowie, which claimed a 19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-13 victory over Holston in Tuesday’s other regional semifinal match.
Patrick Henry and Chilhowie both clinched spots in the VHSL Class 1 quarterfinals Saturday.
BETTER AND BETTER
Patrick Henry got stronger with each set Tuesday night.
Eastside (13-14) jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the opening set, but Patrick Henry regrouped and battled back to take a 15-14 lead. The Lady Rebels knocked out the next six points and cruised to the first set win.
In both the second and third sets, the Lady Rebels broke open a tight battle with scoring runs to secure the victory.
“I think it was our communication. We weren’t jelling really good. We were a little hesitant and we just had to pull that off and pull together,” Newberry said.
The Lady Rebels pulled together by using solid communication from Grace Hammond, who had 31 assists to go with eight kills and eight digs.
Patrick Henry got 17 kills and two blocks from Ella Maiden, and Abigail Belcher finished with seven kills and four blocks. Jamayla Honaker closed with seven kills, and the Lady Rebels also got 12 digs from Hannah Holmes as well as three aces apiece from Alyssa Evans and Logan Newberry.
Having both depth and versatility has been huge for Patrick Henry this season, according to Newberry.
“We’ve worked really hard this year,” she said. “It has helped us tremendously this year to be able to have defensive players in for defense and hitters in for offense. It’s just really worked.”
OVER TOO SOON
Eastside suffered a tough ending for a team that hung around the .500 mark.
Lady Spartans coach Brianne Bailey said one reason her squad was able to advance to the regional semifinals was because of its difficult schedule.
“I knew that this group at the beginning of the year had so much potential,” Bailey said. “We had 14 losses. Five of those losses came from Tennessee schools in the Science Hill tournament, Letcher County (Ky.), which wins its conference every year, and then Double-A schools.”
Eastside also went 1-2 against Cumberland District regular-season champion Rye Cove this year.
Anna Whited finished with nine kills and 10 digs for Eastside. Reiley McCoy also contributed nine kills and Eliza Johnson closed with 18 assists.