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HILLSVILLE –– Carroll County survived one of its worst games of the year and was still able to come away with a four-game win, knocking off Marion 25-20, 17-25, 25-13, 25-19 in the Southwest District tournament volleyball semifinals Thursday.
The Cavaliers remained undefeated after 21 matches with the win and advanced to the tournament finals on Saturday, where they faced Abingdon, a four-game winner over Tazewell in the night’s first semifinal.
Carroll had just taken a one-game lead when it laid an egg in the second. Leading 3-2, the Cavaliers gave up 13 of the next 14 points, half of those coming on passing or hitting errors.
Carroll County cut the margin to 16-11 with a 5-0 run highlighted by an Honesty Rogers ace and a Sarah Singleton kill, but Marion answered with six straight points for a 23-13 lead, eventually tying the match at a game apiece.
But the momentum gained by the Scarlet Hurricane in the second game vanished in the third as the Cavaliers jumped to a 6-0 lead, including four points on winners by Kim Caudill.
A kill by Tabby Minton followed by a Jessi Shuler tip pulled Marion to within 13-10, but Carroll County reeled off five straight points to pull out to an 18-10 lead, eventually taking a two games to one lead.
The Cavaliers trailed 12-11 in the third before pulling away. Two Rogers aces and a pair of kills by Caudill highlighted an 8-2 run for a 19-14 Carroll County lead.
Marion chipped away and had a chance to tie the Cavaliers at 19, but Candice Moore’s block of a Caudill smash fell out of bounds, putting Carroll up 20-18. Carroll County closed out the match with a 4-0 run capped by a Leanna Rippey spike.
The opening game featured six ties and three lead changes until a pair of Marion hitting errors helped the Cavaliers take an 18-16 lead. A Minton dink got Marion to within 21-20, but three Hurricane hitting errors and a Lindsey Poe block gave Carroll the one-game lead.
Caudill finished with 21 kills, 15 serving points, four aces, seven blocks and 15 digs for Carroll County. Rippey, Singleton and Maleah Neely added 10 digs each. Neely put up 15 assists and led the team with 24 serving points.