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Brooks fills up stat sheet in Union’s M7 win over Central

Kevin Mays • Sep 20, 2019 at 1:24 AM

BIG STONE GAP — Union’s Emili Brooks was a difference-maker on Thursday night.

Brooks recorded 15 kills, four blocks, nine digs and three service aces to power the Lady Bears to a key 25-17, 25-19, 25-18 Mountain 7 District volleyball win over Wise County rival Central.

The Lady Bears (9-4, 2-2) earned their second straight Mountain 7 win after falling to Gate City and Abingdon. They won at Lee High on Tuesday.

“The Lee win was a big confidence boost for us after losing to Gate City and Abingdon,” Brooks noted. “It helped get our confidence up and carried over to tonight.”

Such confidence proved big against a determined Central squad, which suffered its first Mountain 7 defeat of the year.

The teams battled throughout all three sets. But every time the Lady Warriors (6-3, 3-1) appeared ready to make a move, Brooks took her game up another notch to help the Lady Bears regain control.

ANOTHER UNION POWER

Brooks was not Union’s only force at the net. Fellow senior Jayda Smith had one of her best performances and finished with a team-high 17 kills, a block and nine digs.

Coach Kim Moore was delighted by their efforts.

“This is a great win for us,” Moore said. “Central’s a great team and you can’t take anything away from them. This was just a great win for us as we still try to figure out who we are. It’s just one day at a time and you just never take anything for granted.”

Setter Brook Bailey added nine digs and 28 assists for the Lady Bears. Isabella Blagg, Desi Brooks and Abbi Dickenson each had seven digs.

Charlee Long led Central at the net with 12 kills, and Olivia Sanders contributed eight kills.

The Lady Warriors also got 20 assists from Caitlin Glover and 20 digs from Hannah McAmis.

Central coach Jessica Sturgill said the Union attack kept her team frustrated throughout the match.

“Union is a great team and they’ve got great hitters. They really move to the ball and make the plays,” Sturgill noted.

“It just seemed like the minute they started taking control, we quit a little bit.”

CENTRAL RESPONSE

How her team responds to its first district loss of the season will be big, Sturgill said. And there is no time like the present to bounce back for the Lady Warriors. Next week, Central squares off with Mountain 7 powers Gate City and Abingdon in back-to-back matches.

“Hopefully, they’ll realize that they can play with these teams,” she said.

UP NEXT

On Saturday, the Lady Bears travel to Science Hill to participate in a tournament.

Central visits Gate City on Tuesday.

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