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Rye Cove, Eastside breeze through semis

Tanner Cook • Oct 23, 2018 at 11:49 PM

CLINCHPORT — The Cumberland District volleyball tournament final is set following semifinal sweeps by regular-season champion Rye Cove and second-seeded Eastside on Tuesday night.

The Lady Spartans dismissed Thomas Walker 25-19, 25-23, 25-22 in the night’s first semifinal at Rye Cove, and the Lady Eagles followed by knocking out J.I. Burton 25-9, 25-20, 25-11.


The Lady Spartans had a great start to the match, extending a 7-5 lead to 13-8 behind three straight aces from Tavi Sensabaugh. The Lady Pioneers rallied late with seven consecutive points, but Eastside closed the door.

The second set was much more competitive, featuring four ties — at 6, 11, 13 and 17 — before Eastside pulled to a 20-17 lead en route to the win.

The final set also remained tight, but the Lady Spartans limited their mistakes, took care of business and moved on to the finals.

Eastside’s Anna Whited finished with a double-double of 17 kills and 12 digs. Eliza Johnson also had a double-double, 40 assists and 17 digs, and Kacie Jones led the Lady Spartans with 29 digs.

Eastside totaled 85 digs in all, including 13 from Reilly McCoy.

Talyn Dibrell led Thomas Walker with 10 kills, and Larkin Burke and Tanna Whitt each contributed nine. Bella Schwartz recorded 30 assists and Savannah Hall had eight digs.


The Lady Eagles had their way with the Lady Raiders in the first set, methodically pulling away behind strong defensive play.

However, Norton played much better in the second and held a lead late. But with the Lady Raiders up 20-17 and looking to close it out, they made a critical service error following a Rye Cove timeout.

That’s when Callie Richardson got her serve going and the Lady Eagles righted their ship. The Cove scored nine unanswered points to secure the second set.

The comeback seemingly took the wind out of Burton’s sails, and the Lady Eagles rolled to victory from there.

Sarah Mullins tallied 13 digs and seven kills and Maggie Williams had 10 kills and eight digs for the Lady Raiders. Bailey Sturgill contributed 17 assists and eight digs and Akyssa Hollinger had 11 digs.

Richardson finished the night with 11 kills, five blocks and three aces to lead the Lady Eagles. Abby Vicars had four aces, and Emily Bishop, Grace Rhoton and Kaleigh Sloan each counted two. Madison Miller added one ace to push the Cove’s total for the match to 14.

Bishop also piled up 29 assists.


The consolation and championship matches are Thursday at Rye Cove.

Thomas Walker vs. Burton in the 6 p.m. match determines the third team to qualify for the Region 1D tournament out of the Cumberland.

Eastside and Rye Cove follow in the final.

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