KINGSPORT — Dobyns-Bennett tasted sweet revenge and simultaneously put another District 1-AAA volleyball tournament championship plaque in the trophy case Thursday night.
In a battle between Big 8 Conference co-champions, D-B turned the tables on South in a 25-13, 25-23, 25-18 sweep.
The Lady Rebels beat D-B in three straight games last week to force the conference title share.
D-B’s Megan Devine took over when it counted most. She finished with 22 digs and 22 kills. This was the Lady Indians’ third district title with her in the lineup.
Devine was selected Big 8 Conference Player of the Year. D-B’s Kathi Shaffer was chosen Coach of the Year.
“Does Megan not make me look like a genius?’’ Shaffer asked in her postgame interview. “That Coach of the Year plaque, it belongs to her.
“Megan was feeling light-headed tonight. On those last four points she made in the third game, I don’t know if she knew where she was — but we sure did.’’
D-B stormed to a 7-0 lead in the first game to set the tone. South was wobbly from taking out Central in the losers bracket 25-22, 22-25, 25-15, 25-20.
“It’s never easy to end the season,’’ Central coach Tracy Graybeal said. “South dug a lot and served and hit the ball well.’’
Both D-B (45-3), the host, and South (36-12) will be in the Region 1 tournament Monday against Morristown West and Jefferson County.
“I was concerned about our team’s energy,’’ South coach Wendy Ratliff said. “I thought we’d be flat but I’m proud of the girls’ effort. We’re glad to be in the region.
“Volleyball is a momentum sport. Everybody has a chance. I definitely don’t think we’ll walk in Monday with the big head. But I know the girls are excited and want to win.’’
Devine, a staple in D-B’s attack, dominated the final match after her team grabbed a 17-16 lead.
“I have a great team behind me,’’ Devine said. “We played well together. Our defense just picked it up. Jamie Rutledge is the best setter around. She gives me the ball and I put it down.’’
Rutledge was credited with 30 assists, 11 digs, three kills, two blocks and two aces. Lori Peterson had 44 digs and two aces. Caryn Foehringer got 19 digs, six kills and two blocks. Meredith Hardy accounted for four blocks, five digs, six kills and five aces.
South’s leaders were Taylor Fink with 17 assists, Tyria Hutchins with 14 digs, Makensey Campbell with three blocks and Krista Reid, Kelsey Smith and Kim Johnson with four kills each.
Against Central, Campbell had eight kills and four blocks, Taylor 23 assists and four aces, Smith 12 kills and Hutchins 17 digs.
“Makensey definitely has been our go-to girl in the tournament,’’ Ratliff said. “She’s turned on her power and blocked well.’’
Central’s pacesetters were Kara Mann with 14 kills and 17 digs, Lauren Blevins with 41 assists and 11 digs, Jacqueline Kestner with 12 digs, eight kills and five blocks, Brianna Cox with 12 kills and 11 digs, and Kenzie Darnell with 30 digs.