CLINCHPORT — For the second year in a row, Rye Cove’s volleyball team went the distance with Galax in the quarterfinals of the VHSL Group A, Division 1 state tournament.
But unfortunately for the Lady War Eagles, the wild ride ended without a trip to the semifinals once again.
The Lady Maroon Tide (22-7) escaped Clinchport with a pulsating 25-21, 25-27, 25-23, 10-25, 15-13 victory to advance to Richmond for the semifinals on Friday. The topsy-turvy match ended on a kill by Galax’s Morgan Neff that hung on the top of the net before tumbling to the floor on Rye Cove’s side.
“We don’t come down here just to have a little quick match,” Rye Cove coach Greg Gilliam said of his team’s budding rivalry with Galax. “We play all night long. I give them credit — their floor defense was tenacious. We couldn’t find a hole.”
Indeed, Rye Cove struggled to find much rhythm offensively despite enjoying a height advantage along the net. Long rallies were the norm as the match wore on, and Galax ultimately came up with enough key plays to escape with a win.
All in all, it was a frustrating end to another stellar season for the Lady Eagles.
“It was a match in which we never could find it when we needed it,” Gilliam said. “We needed to come up with a play, and we couldn’t get a ball down or come up with a pass.”
Brianna Wallen came up with 49 digs for Rye Cove (18-8). Lucindy Lawson had 25 digs and nine kills.
Brooke Jones owned the fourth game and finished with 18 kills and eight blocks for the Lady Eagles. Destiny Gibson had 19 kills, 21 digs and three blocks and Kristin Sanders distributed 48 assists.
For the complete story, pick up a copy of the Nov. 14 Times-News.