Cavs add another volleyball trophy

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Carroll County took three-game wins over Richlands and Tazewell for the SWD tournament title.

By Craig Worrell, Sports Editor

HILLSVILLE -- After absorbing some serious hits due to graduation after last season, some wondered how much Carroll County volleyball might tail off this year. They have their answer: one whole game. The Cavaliers, who entered the most recent Region IV tournament with a 22-0 record, will take a 21-1 mark into the regionals after breezing to the Southwest District tournament championship with a pair of three-game wins over Richlands and Tazewell. “I thought we played very well,” said Carroll County head coach Cindy Edwards. “I thought they played hard.” The Cavaliers, who haven’t missed a region tournament in more than 16 years, narrowly avoided going to a fourth set in the SWD finals, otherwise cruising in a 25-17, 25-15, 26-24 win Thursday. “I think the kids have gotten stronger as the year has gone on,” said Edwards. “They’ve gotten more experience and you can really see that.” The Cavaliers, who have a 101-10 record over the past five seasons, will get some experience against one of the region’s top programs when they open Region IV play Tuesday at home against defending region champion Hidden Valley. “The bad part of it is we’ve got to play Hidden Valley, but to be the best you’ve got to beat the best,” Edwards said. “The pace is going to be quicker and the angles are going to be sharper, we’ll just go out and play hard and see what happens.”  The Cavaliers never trailed in the first two games but had to scramble to avoid a fourth game in Thursday’s championship match.  Kills by Maleah Neely and Dionna Reece had Carroll ahead 17-14 before the Bulldogs made a run, tying the match at 18, 19 and 21. A 4-1 run capped by Lindsey Scribner’s tip put Tazewell at game point, but the Cavaliers responded with successive spikes from Sarah Singleton, Lauren Roper and Reece to finish Tazewell off. The Bulldogs stayed within one or two points of the Cavaliers early in the first game, trailing 12-11 before Carroll pulled away. Kills from Neely and Trish Reed plus a Lindsey Poe block gave Carroll a 20-16 cushion, and Roper took over down the stretch with two kills and a block among the final four points. Neely and Singleton combined to serve the Cavaliers into a 9-1 lead in the second. Tazewell got to within six points late in the game before the Cavaliers finished on a 6-1 run that included two Neely smashes to end the game. Carroll County advanced to the championship match with a 25-11, 25-20, 25-16 win over Richlands on Wednesday. After dropping the first point of the match, the Cavaliers didn’t trail again until the third game, when the Blue Tornado opened with six unanswered points. The lead stood at 9-6 before Kim Marshall went to the serving line and Carroll reeled off a dozen straight points. Marshall had a pair of aces in the spurt, which included four Reece spikes. Reece finished with 27 kills in the two tournament games. Roper and Neely had 16 each and Singleton put away 12 kills to go with 27 serving points, followed by Honesty Rogers (23), Jessi Goad (21) and Neely (20). Roper (six blocks), Rogers (32 digs) and Singleton (22 digs) led the way defensively, while Neely set her teammates up with 32 assists, with 19 more from Goad. Carroll County claimed the JV championship as well Thursday with a 26-24, 25-22 win, finishing the season at 18-4.