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Watson-powered D-B tops Volunteer in 1-AAA play

Tanner Cook • Oct 9, 2019 at 1:11 AM

CHURCH HILL — Volunteer was coming off a minor upset in the opening round of the District 1-AAA volleyball tournament, but on Tuesday night the host Lady Falcons faced a much larger task.

Dobyns-Bennett rolled to a 25-14, 25-15, 25-20 over Volunteer, which put up a scrappy battle but couldn’t take down the Lady Indians like it did Tennessee High the night before.

The Lady Falcons played the Tribe point for point several times but ultimately were overmatched by the larger D-B squad. Senior middle blocker Hannah Watson took over for the Lady Indians and went on a personal 6-0 scoring run in the third set to silence Volunteer’s chances.

“(Hannah) is called ‘The Beast’ for a reason,” D-B coach Haley Price said. “She’s been our ‘get-it-done’ kid all year and it’s so nice to have her back out on the floor. When she was out, we had some tough losses. ... I love the fight of an underdog. Seeing (Volunteer) step up yesterday and take that win was awesome. You hope — as a coach — that you see teams like that that are scrappy and keep the long rallies alive.”

Watson finished with 10 kills. Senior outside hitter Staley Humphries had six kills and 20 digs and Meg Maynor had five aces.

The Tribe got a little bit of offense from senior setter Rylee Waye, who has been known to pull the trigger for an unexpected kill every now and again. It was a bit more evident on Tuesday that she wanted to get involved. She finished with three kills, 19 assists and 18 digs.

“She’s used to being on the court all the time in the 5-1 and watching her run the 6-2 and step up to play both sides was good,” Price said. “She was hitting out of the middle a few times and she hasn’t done that since she was in seventh grade.”

Zoie Larkins quarterbacked the defense, finishing with 20 digs while producing four aces. Carley Shell chipped in with 10 digs.

“Our players look across the net and all they see is a name on the jersey and we have to get out of that mentality,” Volunteer coach Tennille Green said. “We would come within three or four points and then we’d make a mistake and be back again five or six points. You can’t do that against anybody in our conference. ...

“Our passing was not good tonight. If our setters come out and mix their sets up, we’re pretty hard to deal with.”

Jersey Wines had five kills and 10 digs for Volunteer. Rylee Wines had five kills, seven assists and eight digs.

Josie Stapleton tallied 14 digs and Sydney Dobbs had six assists and five digs. Raenah Barton finished with four kills.

D-B will take on Daniel Boone — a 3-1 winner over Science Hill on Tuesday — at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Science Hill plays the Lady Falcons in an elimination match at 7 p.m.


The Lady Trailblazers got some revenge from last week’s road loss that knocked them out of contention for the regular-season title.

Boone came out with a ton of energy and beat the Lady Hilltoppers 30-28, 25-13, 21-25, 25-15.

Both teams came out of the locker room fired up, resulting in the wild opening set.

“We came out with a lot of energy and that last two weeks with two losses motivated us even more,” Boone coach Chelsea Baker said. “We have to come in every single day and give 100 percent effort.

“It’s win or go home time now.”

Right-side hitter Mackenzie Sweigart, a senior, bounced back strong after a less-than-stellar effort in the loss to Science Hill. Sweigart had nine kills and 11 digs on Tuesday.

“She is a huge difference- maker,” Baker said. “Where she’s on that opposite side of the court, you can switch things up. When she’s on, it makes our entire offense run so much smoother.”

Jaycie Jenkins had 13 kills and 10 digs and McKenna Dietz had 37 assists, 17 digs, five blocks and three digs for Boone. Greyson Stevens concluded with nine kills and four blocks, and Dannah Persinger had three kills and four blocks.

Riley Brinn also contributed eight kills and five kills. Laken Jones had nine digs helping out the defense.

Claire Thomas had 14 kills, and Ella Gay, Riley Layton and Kenzie Clark all had eight apiece for Science Hill, which was plagued again by unforced errors. Loren Grindstaff had seven kills.

Jesse Franks had 26 assists with five aces, and Alyssa Neal had 20 and 12 digs. Clark and Layton each had 11 digs.

“We play really good in spurts, but we have to play a complete game this time of year,” Science Hill coach Laura Cook said. “They decided (in the third set) that they wanted to play aggressive. We have to do that every time out. ... We’re going to have nights like that, but when we can limit our unforced errors, we’re good.

“Volunteer is scrappy and they’ll come ready. We have to play together as a team to stay alive.”