The Lady Trailblazers (9-0) took care of business again Tuesday night with a 3-1 win over Science Hill. It gave them a clean sweep during the first round of conference play. That includes victories over all three of the city schools — Dobyns-Bennett, Science Hill and Tennessee High — and a 3-1 win over rival David Crockett.
“Our conference is really tough, and it means a lot to us that we’re in first place right now, especially playing against the teams we have so far,” coach Chelsea Baker said. “My girls have worked extremely hard, not just during the offseason. They’re still working hard and going to the weight room two times a week. They have a lot of heart and you can see the passion every single match. I can’t ask for a whole lot more out of them.”
Baker got a lot of out of them in the 25-14, 27-25, 23-25, 25-17 win over the Lady Hilltoppers. Jaycee Jenkins led the way with 15 kills, two aces and nine digs. Mackenzie Sweigart had 12 kills, four blocks and two aces. Dannah Persinger had four kills and three blocks. Riley Brinn ended with four kills and two blocks, while Greyson Stevens had three kills and five blocks.
“Mackenzie really set the tone last night, especially in the first game,” Baker said. “Jaycee Jenkins is so good all-around. She’s good defensively. A lot of times, she will lead us in digs. That’s a big deal having a hitter who will lead you in kills and digs.”
McKenna Dietz provided 34 assists, 13 digs, five aces, three kills and two blocks. Laken Jones ended with 12 digs and Claire Nave with seven.
“McKenna Dietz is a really good setter,” Baker said. “She’s like the quarterback of the team, keeping the floor running. She does such a good job of spreading the ball to all of our hitters. She puts it in the perfect place so we’re thankful for her.”
For the season, Jenkins leads the team with 100 kills and ranks second on the team with 119 digs. Dietz has team bests with 252 assists, 131 digs and 19 aces. Stevens has 59 kills to go along with a team-best 22 blocks, followed by Persinger with 34 kills and 21 blocks.
“Our middles have done such a good job blocking the entire season,” Baker said. “They give me their all every night. Their hard work and dedication is really showing this season.”
Sweigart has been good in all phases of the game with 73 kills, 68 digs, 13 aces, 10 blocks and seven assists. Jones and Nave have been strong on the defensive end with 71 and 52 digs, respectively. Emily Helton has 12 digs and Riley Brandon has served seven aces.
With such production throughout the lineup, the goal is to stay No. 1 in the league race.
“Right now, we’re holding first place. We want to end there,” Baker said. “It will be the first time in a long time that we’ve been conference champions. I think the banner in the gym says ’98, so it would be a big deal to win the conference this year.”